BBC trials AI voice capabilities on iPlayer with Microsoft

The two ran an experiment to see whether users could log on using their voice

BBC iPlayer

The BBC and Microsoft have created a version of iPlayer that uses AI to enable users to issue voice commands.

The experiment used "voiceprints" which meant the user could sign into BBC services using their voice and talk to their TV to select a programme to watch.

Cyrus Saihan, head of digital partnerships at the BBC, outlined how the software worked, saying that AI software would recognise a user's voiceprint through the characteristics of the users voice, such as tone, modulation and pitch. The software would then process the information and match it to a voice sample stored in the cloud.

Saihan added: "Artificial intelligence software checks that you are who you say you are and then signs you in, without you having to type anything."

He explained that after training the computer, a user could log in by saying their name and phrase.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The internal prototype of the software also meant that users could select a programme using their voice. "For example, saying "BBC...show me something funny" brings up a selection of comedy programmes. If you say "BBC...what's going on in the world?" the BBC News channel turns on and starts playing. Saying "BBC... put Eastenders on for me" starts playing the latest episode" said Saihan.

He pointed out that so far what they have built is only "a proof of concept" and it was an experiment that was at the early stages of development.

Saihan also alluded to future uses of the software, highlighting that if a family were sitting together in a room the TV could automatically detect their voices and suggest programmes suitable for all of them to watch.

He finished by saying it was an experiment "designed to help us better understand how emerging technologies could impact the media industry and provide us with an opportunity to improve the experience for our audiences in the future".

Gartner believes that voice assistants will help drive future device growth and that by 2020 30% of web browsing sessions will be carried out without a screen. Despite this, there have been numerous privacy concerns surrounding AI, with research showing that consumers would use AI but preferred to keep their data private instead of using a more convenient service.

Featured Resources

The IT Pro guide to Windows 10 migration

Everything you need to know for a successful transition

Download now

Managing security risk and compliance in a challenging landscape

How key technology partners grow with your organisation

Download now

Software-defined storage for dummies

Control storage costs, eliminate storage bottlenecks and solve storage management challenges

Download now

6 best practices for escaping ransomware

A complete guide to tackling ransomware attacks

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/laptops/34636/microsoft-surface-laptop-3-hands-on-review-powerfully-tempting
Laptops

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13in review: Almost the perfect laptop

6 Dec 2019
Visit/hardware/laptops/354275/microsoft-surface-laptop-3-15in-review-ryzen-falls
Laptops

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15in review: Ryzen falls

4 Dec 2019
Visit/cloud/354231/the-it-pro-podcast-is-the-future-multi-cloud
Cloud

The IT Pro Podcast: Is the future multi-cloud?

29 Nov 2019
Visit/business-strategy/collaboration/354160/microsoft-teams-surpasses-20-million-daily-users
collaboration

Microsoft Teams surpasses 20 million daily users

20 Nov 2019

Most Popular

Visit/security/identity-and-access-management-iam/354289/44-million-microsoft-customers-found-using
identity and access management (IAM)

44 million Microsoft customers found using compromised passwords

6 Dec 2019
Visit/cloud/microsoft-azure/354230/microsoft-not-amazon-is-going-to-win-the-cloud-wars
Microsoft Azure

Microsoft, not Amazon, is going to win the cloud wars

30 Nov 2019
Visit/hardware/354237/five-signs-that-its-time-to-retire-it-kit
Sponsored

Five signs that it’s time to retire IT kit

29 Nov 2019
Visit/business/business-strategy/354195/where-modernisation-and-sustainability-meet-a-tale-of-two
Sponsored

Where modernisation and sustainability meet: A tale of two benefits

25 Nov 2019