Google to Personalize Audio-Based News Over Assistant Software

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The company is launching the revamped audio news function to a limited number of Google Assistant users in the U.S. before a wider roll out. It's all based on your location and interests, but you can still tell Google to skip a story you don't want to hear.

Google has announced a new update to the Assistant that will make it better at telling you the news you care about. Google has partnered with media companies like CNBC, The New York Times, and The Washington Post to fill out its library of audio news, and it's also putting the call out for other English publishers.

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

However, there were some caveats to this - aside from your chosen station's political leaning, you couldn't really choose the exact kind of news you wanted to ingest on a daily basis, and you were also at the mercy of the station's schedule and ads.

In order to further advance this feature, Google built an open specification which publishers can take advantage of in order to deliver their content to more listeners.

The technology giant said it had partnerships with more than a dozen news organizations to deliver an audio feed in the same manner as its smartphone news feed. After that, Assistant will select a few longer, more detailed stories. Medium-format stories, on the other hand, can last from 2 to 15 minutes.

The biggest advantage from a consumer standpoint is that Google is not allowing any sponsored content in its audio news.

The new feature is only available to a limited number of users in the United States, and an worldwide release will come later on.