The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) recently announced its plans to launch its own digital voice assistant in 2020. The corporation says the voice assistant will be designed to work on all smart speakers, TVs and mobile devices.
It is currently being tested on the broadcast corporation’s staff with regional accents. This is so that the assistant would get familiar with different UK accents. According to the BBC, the voice assistant will be called Beeb upon activation.
However, there are speculations if the BBC will be able to compete in the already saturated market. Tech giants like Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Apple already have their voice assistants. However, most of these companies may not have the same hold the Beeb would have in the UK. Especially as the company will be incorporating a lot its local accents.
BBC Introduces Voice Assistant, Beeb
BBC assures that they had worked well in their research to make the voice assistant. The corporation believes that “having its own assistant would enable it to experiment with new programmes, features and experiences without someone else’s permission to build it in a certain way”.
A spokesman from the BBC said:
“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.”
“This marks another step in ensuring public service values can be protected in a voice-enabled future,” he explained.
Another thing that could help the voice assistant is the BBC’s reach. If the company can make the assistant understand languages in all its broadcast regions, it will be a great plus. Imagine Beep understanding Yoruba and Igbo. They would be beating a lot of other tech giants to it. But can they pull it off?