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Google Assistant Trying To Change How We Interact With News and Technology

Businessman in the office, reading bad breaking news on a financial newspaper, he is shocked and adjusting his glasses

We all know how the news works, it informs us of daily events that are deemed important. The problem is, most of the information that is given by the news is rather sad or stress inducing. As a means to solve this, Google has come up with a way to discover some positive news easily! So far this function is specific to the Google Assistant.

How it works is simple, just ask your Google Assistant to “Tell me something good”. Google has stated that they felt the need for this functionality due to the ever increasing “hope gap”, which is referring to the idea that the more you focus on the problems rather than the solutions, the more prone you are to feel fear and anxiety. The hope gap make it easy to feel trapped and prevent problem solving in all manners of life.

So the next question would be whether or not the good news is substantial enough to offset the daily occurring bad news. Google has made it clear that the kind of news that is given with this command is substantial news that can really help your view of the world shift, the type of news that identifies people going around and changing the world with their actions. Google has identified this as “solutions journalism” which is meant to spark dialogue about how to make things better, rather than staying stagnant in the negative news of today. Some examples of the good news that the Google Assistant reports would be how Iceland used unique tactics to curb underage drinking, or how a university eliminated the achievement gap between white and black students.

This undertaking was spearheaded by Solutions Journalism Network, which is a nonprofit that showcases potential methods of solving issues in new items that it covers. The nonprofit has partnered with NPR, Huffington Post, and PBS in the past to spread the best practices for its optimistic brand of journalism, and 17 different universities use a SJN-specified curriculum. As an example of it’s success, the SJN details an occasion where a newspaper motivated an entire community to decrease its rate of infant mortality.

This initiative falls in line with many who desire to change the way in which we interact with one another through the internet. Facebook and Instagram both have tools now that help to manage your time spent on their applications, and Apple has made it easier for people to micromanage time spent on phones. With so many tech giants aiming for an improved morale towards technology use, we can expect to see a decrease in depression and burnout  in relation to technology use.

Google has recognized that this won’t be an all in one solution, but has stated that they still find this a worthy avenue to explore on their way to a more solid solution.

Why not give it a try on your phone or Google Assistant, the worst thing that could happen is you’ll hear something good today!

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