Tech platforms such as Apple HomePod, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home have become an onus for keeping up with the news, rather than traversing through print. With smart digital assistants increasingly coming up with programs to deliver news summaries and news flashes, and offer listeners the option to listen to the item even more thoroughly if required.
While this is an excellent opportunity for news organizations to connect with listeners looking for specific news, information, or the new buzzword, new-on-demand. Already, leading enterprises such as Washington Post, National Public Radio, and BBC are developing algorithms to ensure that they have the skills to offer their listeners on-demand news reports and updates.
A journalism professor at the University of Oregon, Damian Radcliffe, mentions how the technology platforms of smart speakers have become a lucrative opportunity for established news companies, as well as struggling ones.
A survey by Adobe Analytics says that 32 percent of US homes use a smart speaker. Most of these households also use it on a daily basis. Reuters Institute of Oxford University reports along similar lines that 43% of the listeners in Britain, South Korea, Germany, and the US used smart speakers for accessing latest news updates.
However, a cause of concern with digital assistants delivering news updates could be possible misinformation, paid media, and authenticity of news sources.
Also, Judith Donath, and adviser and researcher at Berkman Klein Center is worried about the tonality of the computer generated voices delivering the news update. She questions the programming of emotions to deduce the news as to being a happy event or tragedy, and wonders of listeners may be comfortable with the same. Donath is currently writing a book on technology, focusing on trust and deception.