AUNTIE BEEB has announced plans for its own voice assistant, called, naturally enough, 'Beeb'.
The BBC has said that it won't be offering any hardware of its own, but rather piggy-back on existing smart devices, much as Microsoft planned with Cortana.
The announcement has thrown the industry somewhat, as this didn't seem to be on the corporation's to-do list.
Auntie has said that Beeb's USP will be the comprehension of regional accents, something that will be welcome to Scots and Geordies who have both struggled to be understood by mainstream assistants.
The BBC has already commissioned voice samples from hundreds of BBC employees around the country to start teaching the neural network behind Beeb.
The real question here is… why?
According to the BBC, having its own smart assistant will let it "experiment with new programmes, features and experiences without someone else's permission to build it in a certain way".
It's not clear how the service will work, outside iPlayer, given that most smart devices have a native assistant already.
But as it languishes in one of its biggest-ever funding crises - the subsidising of TV Licences for the elderly, which it says, if forced to honour would mean closing BBC Two, BBC Four and BBC Five Live for starters - one has to question if this is a wise use of licence fee payer money?
Although a dedicated service could give the BBC more licence to experiment with interactive television (think Bandersnatch but for Newsnight) , it's unlikely to be anyone's first choice - Amazon, Baidu and Google has the market more or less sewn up, with Cortana and Siri flanking in rearguard and Bixby continuing to flog its dead horse.
Auntie has shown some frustration with the current voice assistant cartel and has already removed its podcasts from Google and live radio from TuneIn as these services couldn't offer the requirements laid down for carriage by the corporation.
The 'Beeb' name could change at some point, but short of changing it to 'Yo, Ceefax', we can't imagine there being a better or more fitting wake word, though to be reliable, it may well become "OK Beeb" or similar before launch. μ
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