A year ago, the BBC announced that it was working on its own voice assistant, 8220;Beeb8221;, to offer intelligent, intuitive voice interaction across its many services. Now it is ready for members of the public to try the beta version.
Members of the Windows Insider Programme will be first to trial the beta, thanks to a collaboration with Microsoft and its Azure AI services.
It can be used to find and play live and on-demand radio, music mixes and podcasts, or simply request news and weather updates. It also has curated content from the corporation, such as jokes created by some of the broadcaster8217;s comedy writing teams, or QI facts read aloud by host Sandi Toksvig.
Eventually, it is hoped that Beeb will be available across multiple smart home devices, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home speakers.
8220;It’s being built to work on any voice assisted device (smart-speaker, mobile, TV or anything else) so ultimately we’d like to make it as widely available as possible. However, we would need the device manufacturers to let people have access to it,8221; explained the BBC8217;s head of service development, Jeremy Walker, in a blog in August 2019.