Posted on August 28, 2019 by staff

BBC to launch ‘Beeb’ voice assistant in 2020


The BBC is planning to launch its own digital voice assistant next year with the working title ‘Beeb’.

The corporation said the assistant will not require its own hardware, and instead will work on smart speakers, TVs and smartphones.

BBC staff are currently being invited to record their voices in an effort to refine the new assistant on a range of regional British accents.

The BBC already works with the likes of Amazon’s Alexa to allow some of its content to be pulled up via voice command.

‘Beeb’ is being created to provide new means of access to BBC’s content and create opportunities for new interactions.

The sound or voice which will allow the ‘Beeb’ assistant to communicate has not yet been announced.

“Much like we did with BBC iPlayer, we want to make sure everyone can benefit from this new technology, and bring people exciting new content, programmes and services – in a trusted, easy-to-use way,” said a BBC spokesman.

“This marks another step in ensuring public service values can be protected in a voice-enabled future.”

The BBC spoke to Analyst Ben Wood, from CCS Insight who said the firm could find it difficult to create tech capable of competing with the likes of Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, Google voice assistant, and Apple’s Siri.