Google Assistant to serve as ‘news host’ on devices

Google has said that its digital assistant will serve as a “news host” on its connected devices to deliver stories from a variety of its media partners.

Called Your News Update, the feature will be activated by asking the Google Assistant to read the news. The artificial intelligence program will deliver “a mix of short news stories chosen in that moment based on your interests, location, user history, preferences, as well as the top news stories out there,” Product Manager Liz Gannes said in a blog post.

The assistant will offer stories from partners including CBS, Politico, Fox News and CNN based on user preferences and other factors.

It can offer news, for example, about the user’s favourite sports teams or specific local or business events.

“In between stories, the Google Assistant serves as your smart news host that introduces which publishers and updates are next,” Gannes said.

The feature is available in English in the United States and will expand internationally next year, for people with compatible smartphones and connected speakers.

To activate, simply say “Hey Google, play me the news.”

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