We all want to stay well-informed but do not have the time or patience to invest. We want to be aware of what's happening around the world but who wants to read entire news articles or watch 15 min long videos from Reuters! In today's age with smart assistants like Alexa and Google Home, this should not be a problem. They should be smart enough to know what we need to know and feed that information to us.

What it does

We have built the world's first AI news briefing skill to power Alexa! This skill does in seconds what hundreds of people spend hundreds of hours doing today, summarizing their news articles. You can ask Alexa, what's in the news? And it will go through your favorite genres of news and read out the news briefings to you. Again, with zero human involvement! To complement this experience, we also have a very reader-friendly minimalistic mobile web app built with Wix code where you can also read these briefings and the articles they were generated from since listening is not always an option!

How I built it

With blood, sweat and plenty of tears. Just kidding. Over the last 24 hours, we have built this using Alexa Skills API, Wix for the mobile web app and used a coherent summarizer to summarize the articles. We built a web scraper which gets called every hour by a cron job and gets the entire article to be summarised which is then sent to our summarization model which summarizes it into less than 60 words and stores it in database for Alexa and Wix to use

Challenges I ran into

Alexa not understanding us and sometimes not even listening. Just kidding. It took us some time to understand alexa skills, how they work and what kind of input they expect. Wix code is a bit different than other web libraries to get started with but once we got the hang of it, it really saved us a lot of time.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

This is the first of its kind. Currently, the news summarization is done manually by news agencies and then passed on to Alexa and other such assistants. With our product, this manual effort is reduced down to zero and news feeds on alexa are no longer television audios from CNN or the first two lines of a Techcrunch article.

What does this mean? Interns no more have to summarize articles. Moreover, very successful startups who provide news briefings today have hundreds of employees doing the summarization for them. With our product, we will be disrupting this industry and simplifying and automating many daily tasks. Ref: Inshorts, Dailyhunt

What I learned

Artificial Intelligence, Developer aspect of Alexa, How to build Wix web app so efficiently, deploying on GCP using cron jobs and using Firebase Real-time database

What's next for

Integrations. With more assistants, smart cars and whatnot!

Come to our booth to talk to Alexa about it


Thank you

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