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Google Assistant to be ‘news host’ on devices

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(FILES) In this file photo taken on January 08, 2019, attendees wait to ask a question of a Google Assistant at a giant “Hey Google” gumball machine game at CES 2019 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. – Google said on November 19, 2019, its digital assistant will serve as a “news host” on its connected devices to deliver stories from a variety of its media partners. The feature called Your News Update will be activated by asking the Google Assistant to read the news. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)

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

The feature called Your News Update 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 and preferences, as well as the top news stories out there,” said product manager Liz Gannes 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.

It is activated by saying, “Hey Google, play me the news.”

Amazon offers a similar “flash briefing” feature for its Alexa-powered devices.


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