It is common to hear and read negative, saddening and disheartning news stories these days, and psychologists believe that constant exposure to such news may have an unwanted effect on mental health. Keeping this in mind, Google is rolling out a new ‘Tell me something good’ experimental feature for the Google Assistant users in the US. With the new feature, users will be able to say “Hey Google, tell me something good” and receive a brief news summary about people “who are solving problems for our communities and our world.” Google says that these stories are sourced from many media outlets and are curated and summarised by the Solutions Journalism Network, which is a non-partisan nonprofit organisation that focuses on highlighting those actions that can have positive results.
Google’s Creative Producer, Ryan Burke, says via a blog post, “These days we’re consuming more news than ever, and sometimes, it can feel like there are only problems out there. But the fact is, there is a plethora of “good news” happening, and we're not talking about unlikely animal friendships or random acts of kindness. Real people are making progress solving real issues—and hearing about those stories is a crucial part of a balanced media diet. The Assistant is making this kind of news easier to find.” As mentioned earlier, the new feature is currently available for users in the US, however, we can hope that the feature makes its way to other regions as well.
Google had recently announced that it will integrate its smart assistant with Google News. This will enable users to simply ask for their news briefing and have it delivered in the form of videos and audio bytes. The feature is aimed at Google Home speakers and the Lenovo Smart Display. One can say, “Hey Google, What’s the news?” and the smart display will display video, while audio news briefings are delivered with the Google Home. One can choose the topics they like as well as the sources.
A revamped Google News was announced this year at I/O 2018. It’s said to be more intelligent now and is said to personalise briefings based on your activity and preferences. It also breaks down news in timelines and provides various perspectives on a particular event.