28 July 2020

House of Lords hears latest trends from Labs

At Labs we aim for our work to impact audiences and the news industry in the short-term. The House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee recently heard how our work is helping to shape the future of journalism and also how we are putting prototypes in the hands of journalists.

Jamie Angus, director of BBC World Service, described some of our recent work applying automation technology to challenges faced by news teams at the BBC. A particular highlight is our speech-to-text and automated translation on projects like Gourmet.

Watch the video of Jamie explaining how Labs works on research and development and gets prototypes that can become full production tools into the newsroom.

Other highlights from the committee’s hearings include evidence of the impact our executive production manager, David Caswell, had with a blogpost at the start of the year. David wrote about the challenges facing the industry and how we must look for major leaps forward that incorporate both technical and editorial innovation to make news consumption highly relevant for audiences.

Dr Seth Lewis, University of Oregon, mentioned the importance of this "existential innovation", when he spoke to the committee.

Labbers are constantly thinking about fundamental ways to reimagine news while focusing on near-term innovations for the newsroom. We will continue to share our understanding of where the industry is headed while we adapt to rapid changes in 2020.

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