Google launches AI-driven audio news feed

The technology giant said it had partnerships with more than a dozen news organisations

Afp December 07, 2018
A woman holds her smart phone which displays the Google home page, in this picture illustration taken February 24, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

SAN FRANCISCO: Google said Thursday it was launching a radio-style, on-demand audio news feed available on smart speakers, personalised with the help of artificial intelligence.

The technology giant said it had partnerships with more than a dozen news organisations to deliver an audio feed in the same manner as its smartphone news feed.

"This new experience will bring you an audio news playlist assembled at that moment, for you," Google product manager Liz Gannes said in a blog post.

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"It starts with a briefing of top stories and updates on topics you care about, and extends into longer-form content that dives deeper into more stories."

Google Assistant, the AI program developed by the company, will manage the feed, allowing users to skip a story, go back or stop.

The project aims to transform audio news into a Netflix-like experience, available on demand with personalised recommendations.

"For the past century, radio has been a one-size-fits-all medium," Gannes wrote.

"Turn on the radio and you're dropped into a show at a moment in time -- regardless of what you already know, where you are, or what you're interested in.

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"Imagine instead if you could have your own radio, one that's available on-demand, accessible throughout your day, and brings you news about the world and your interests."

The new project builds on Google's existing efforts to deliver news over its speakers and smartphones and comes amid a broad effort by news organisations and tech firms to develop more voice services.

The audio news feature will roll out first to a limited number of people using the Google Assistant in the United States in English, the company said.


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