Google introduces AI-driven audio news feed on Google Assistant

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After shutting down its messaging app Allo, the US-based tech and software giant has partnered with top media outlets and publishers to provide an audio version of curated, customized and long-form news stories via the Google Assistant-enabled smart home speakers.

Online publishers like CNBC, Hollywood Reporter, South China Morning Post and Washington Post were some of the organizations that were working with Google over the past few years to build a prototype that brings the Artificial Intelligence and Google News to the voice context of the application.

“This new experience will bring you an audio news playlist assembled at that moment, for you. 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. Publishers from around the world who produce English-language content are welcome to submit feeds for inclusion and sign up to try the experience,” Google said in a statement late Thursday.

With the new technology, a user can asl Google Assistant to skip the story, go back to the previous story or just stop reading the story. News organizations are invited to participate in the testing of the prototype. The system focuses on single-topic stories curated from newscasts or shows to contribute to the news feed. Google will roll out the service to a limited number of people in the US.

The launch is a part of the Google News Initiative. Earlier, Google has invested in media startups and organizations like McClatchy and KQED under its Google News Initiative to accelerate building more audio capabilities for the industry as a whole.

Earlier this week, Google has announced shutting down its messaging app Allo that it launched in September 2016. The company has stopped putting money into the development of the messaging app earlier this year. And now it has finally decided to stop supporting Allo to focus on Messages.

Earlier in April this year, Google decided to shut down its social network arm Google+ for consumers following a  potential security breach that exposed the data of around 500,000 users. The update was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. However, Google cited low user engagement and software errors as the reason for the shutdown.

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