BBC’s New Voice Assistant, Beeb Will Learn Regional Accents

BBC announced last year that it was developing a voice assistant to be used on TVs, Computers and mobiles.

The voice assistant has been released to a small group of people for testing on windows computers.

The voice assistant named Beeb uses Microsoft technology and is still in the beta phase- meaning that not all features are available and working correctly.

Currently, Beeb’s voice is based on that of a UK voice actor with a Northern England accent.

The team behind the voice assistant have, however, been working to ensure that it can understand other regional accents.

Users who download the beta version will be asked what accent they have, so their voice can be used to train Beeb too.

The BBC says that no recordings will be kept- only a few transcripts of the few seconds after a user says ‘Ok Beeb’ will be available anonymously.

The beta version can access BBC radio, news, music, podcasts and weather and respond to some questions with unique answers derived from BBC programming.

The BBC says they will be adding new features in the coming weeks and months as they have an ambitious vision for Beeb.

This is however still a long way to go, as other features found in other voice assistants such as timers, are not included in this first version.

“Ultimately, we envision that Beeb wil be available across a wide range of devices, including smart speakers, mobiles, televisions and many others,” a representative said.

“This is still a very early version, which means that not everything will be working perfectly from day one, and the future Beeb assistant will be able to do a lot more.”

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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