in use

BBC for Voice User Interfaces

We’ve been leading the way in exploring how the corporation should sound on smart speakers such as Google Home and Amazon Echo.

Hypothesis

How can we make BBC content discoverable on voice platforms like Amazon Alexa and Google Home?

Providing the best news content for voice user interfaces is a priority for the BBC. At News Labs, we’ve been leading the way in exploring how the corporation should sound on smart speakers such as Google Home and Amazon Echo.

We began building for voice platforms at an internal hackathon last winter. Labber Lei He helped develop a Google Home action which used Google’s synthetic voice to read out headlines and the latest stories about requested topics from the BBC News website. We later demoed this prototype to the BBC’s Director-General and other senior managers.

We’re continuing to think about new ways to help people access BBC content on these devices, including how to make broadcasts more navigable using voice technology. We’re looking forward to further collaboration with BBC R&D, whose work on “talking with machines” is helping to inform the BBC’s future strategy for voice platforms.

Results

  • Our research and prototypes have been picked up by the BBC’s Voice team and are being built into products.
  • Our work on Voice interfaces has inspired other project in News Labs.

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