Smart home device setup and speakers are growing more and more popular every passing day. However, there’s an issue that has been continuing to hold them back, which is the issue in understanding accents by the voice assistants. This is particularly evident in Britain, which has a small geographic size varying with a wide range of accents.
This problem has luckily got identified by the BBC, and to tackle the shortcoming, is preparing to launch its own voice assistant. As informed by The Guardian, the BBC has revealed that its upcoming assistant “Beeb” will be able to understand regional British accents which is a sort of promise to serve the need by the organization.
Similar to an Amazon Echo or a Google Home device assisted by Alexa and Google Assistant respectively, The Beeb voice assistant will not come with its own hardware. According to the reports, it will be an additional feature for the BBC website and iPlayer app.
The software used will also be made available to other hardware manufacturers who will wish to include it in their products or assisted systems.
In order to train the Beeb, the BBC has taken the help of its own staff and has also asked employees from across the country to test the software manually as well.
The News giant has also addressed the public’s concerns that it had come across before and during the developmental procedure about the commercial voice assistants their targeted advertising and privacy security. “People know and trust the BBC,” reported a spokesperson to The Guardian. Thus, it will make the use of its role as a public service innovator in the field of technology ensure that everyone, not just the tech-elite, can derive benefit from accessing content as well as the new experiences in this new way.
It is worth noting that there is a significant market division for smart speakers, where around 20 percent or above British households own such a device, according to the report.
The relationship that existed between the BBC and smart speaker manufacturers has been strained in the process of market targeting. The BBC requires that users sign in to their accounts when accessing content such as radio streams on third party devices, so it can collect data about users’ listening habits.
However, this is not supported by popular Alexa app TuneIn, therefore, this resulted in the BBC pulling its radio content from the app last year.