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Amazon Echo as news platform


Master Thesis Research Project: August to December, 2015

Will voice controlled personal assistants, such as the Amazon Echo, change the way we consume news in the future? Can we develop an algorithm which learns from voice commands and serves up more relevant news based on what news segments users skip and like?

Kasper Bruus Frank & Søren Bruus Frank

M.Sc. IT Product Development, Aarhus University

Working with Stibo opened possibilities that would otherwise be hard to come by. Throughout the project we’ve had support and guidance from the Accelerator and we’ve had the opportunity of going to conferences which allowed us to find a partner for the project. Working outside the university with Stibo Accelerator and with stakeholders from the news industry has given us insight into the practical side of our studies and helped develop skills within this domain such as presentation skills and forming partnerships and alliances with other companies. Kasper and Søren, M.Sc. IT Product Development (2015)

Project partners:

Introduction:

The news of today are consumed either in an active or passive manner. Technologies like TV and radio belong in the passive category, and platforms like tablets, smartphones, and computers allow for interaction with the news content. This puts them in the active category.

There are a lot of benefits of the active category. These include a higher degree of user engagement and the fact that you’re able to deliver personalised content. Being able to not have to go through large amounts of stories to get to the content that actually interests you, creates value for the user.

What if we in some way could take technologies from the passive category and make them active? With devices like the Amazon Echo, we now have the possibility to do so.

The thesis perspective

Our research revolves around nonlinear audible news. This means news delivered in a radio-like fashion that you can interact with.We are working with the Amazon Echo. Through an iterative design process including prototype development, user studies, multiple workshops with different stakeholders, and extensive user testing, we explore how to best use voice interfaces to interact with news content delivered audibly.

Video of the finished project:

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