Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

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Conversational News

Smart speakers like Google Home and Amazon Alexa already made their way into millions of households and present themselves as a new medium for news consumption. For example, big news publishers like the New York Times or CNN already produce daily flash briefings just for such devices.

In the project "Conversational News" we develop a system to enable even small publishers to publish their written news articles on smart speakers in an engaging manner. The system will tackle these three main problems:

(1) the article structure has to be simplified to be more
understandable through listening;

(2) the output of the speech synthesizer has to sound
more natural and less boring;

(3) the possibility to ask for more information (like links to related articles or encyclopedic knowledge of mentioned person, places, ororganizations) has to be added.

The system will allow publishers to bootstrap their own smart speaker application and to quickly add articles to it.