The latest Google Assistant feature serves up good news on demand
'Hey Google, tell me some good news...please'
Recognizing how we don't want to be bombarded with bad news on a daily basis, Google has added a new experimental feature to its Assistant — good news on demand.
While asking Google to read out the day's news headlines will continue to work just as before — potentially ruining your good mood in the process — the new feature picks out a selection of positive stories from around the world.
Instead of stories about unlikely animals becoming the best of friends (although this is undeniably a good story), the feature aims to educate you as much as cheer you up.
Ryan Burke, creative producer of Google's Creative Lab, said: "The fact is, there is a plethora of 'good news' happening...Real people are making progress solving real issues - and hearing about those stories is a crucial part of a balanced media diet."
As for the kinds of stories the Google Assistant will bring up, Burke explains: "This is good news like how Georgia State University coupled empathy with data to double its graduation rate and eliminate achievement gaps between white and black students, how backyard beekeepers in East Detroit are bringing back the dwindling bee population while boosting the local economy, and how Iceland curbed teen drinking with nightly curfews and coupons for kinds to enroll in extracurricular activities."
The feature is available only in the US for now, and is triggered by saying: "Hey Google, tell me something good" to your Google Home smart speaker, Smart Display, or the Google Assistant on your phone.
The stories, Google says, "come from a wide range of media outlets" and are then curated and summarized by the Solutions Journalism Network nonprofit.
Burke adds how the network is "dedicated to spreading the practice of solutions journalism, which highlights how problems are solvable and that doing better is possible. Solutions journalism empowers and energizes audiences, helping to combat negative news fatigue."
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