If you turned on the news, looked at the news on your device, it seems all we see is bad news. But, in order to fight the perception that we’re all but heading downhill, news publishers are running dedicated “good news” sections or newsletters to counter the depressing news.
Google has decided to follow suit, and as an experiment in the US, Google Assistant will respond to a request to “Tell me something good.” THe Assistnt will provide stories from the Solutions Journalism Network, which compiles positive stories from a range of media publishers and outlets. It requires the customary “OK, Google” or “Hey Google.”
This test is meant to work on any device equipped with Google Assistant. According to Google’s blog post:
The stories come from a wide range of media outlets, curated and summarized by the Solutions Journalism Network. They’re a nonpartisan nonprofit 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. It’s an important part of a balanced news diet, so we’re exploring how to incorporate more solutions journalism wherever you access Google News.
For Greg Sterling, who tried it himself on Google Home and Pixel phone, it worked unevenly. It delivered when I said, “OK, Google tell me something good,” but not for the phrase “tell me some good news.” In the latter case, it provided a more conventional search result on the Pixel and said “Sorry, I don’t understand” on Home. But I’m sure Google will fix that quickly.