Google will let you listen to personalized and local news via Podcasts and Assistant

Google added a feature on Assistant late last year called Your News Update that allows users to listen to personalized news digest based on their interests. Today, the search giant announced that it is bringing that capability to Google Podcasts.

When you subscribe to Your News Update found in the Explore tab of the Podcasts app, users will be able to listen to a variety of up-to-date news articles based on their interests, location, user history, and preferences. Google says it will personalize the users' listening experience by applying Google News' artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to the audio format. These capabilities were announced in 2018. The feature will provide local and national news all in a single location.

Additionally, users will soon be able to find and listen to local news through Assistant by asking a Nest smart speaker to “play local news” or “play news about [your city]”. The smart speaker will then play local news in both native audio and a text-to-speech voice. Google says the feature uses new text-to-speech voices for a more human-like sound when reading news articles. The voice model also incorporates voice pitch, sound length, and stress on specific words and syllables.

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