Why is the BBC developing its own virtual assistant?

Answer: Because it can understand British accents better than current offerings.

by / August 29, 2019
Shutterstock/Golden Sikorka

Apparently current offerings for virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home aren’t always good at understanding British accents. That’s why, rather than tap into existing software, the BBC has decided to build its own.

Called “Beeb,” which is the casual term used to refer to the popular broadcasting network, this new assistant will be available to help users navigate BBC’s online services like its website and iPlayer app. The company also hopes to make Beeb available to manufacturers whose devices use BBC software. 

This week, BBC employees are being encouraged to test Beeb, which won’t be available to the public until sometime next year. According to Digital Trends, data collection may be an ulterior motive behind developing Beeb, although BBC hasn't specified what it intends to do with any collected data.

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