The BBC has partnered with Microsoft to build an experimental version of its hugely popular BBC iPlayer using artificial intelligence to allow audiences to sign in to the broadcaster’s content services using their voiceprints as well as to talk to their TVs to choose what they want to watch.
Cyrus Saihan, head of digital partnerships for the BBC, says the two companies regard AI and voice interaction as fast-developing technologies which are already available to consumers. “We wanted to explore how your TV – just by hearing the unique sound of your voice – could give people a more intuitive and more personal service in the future.”
The BBC says the tie-up was an internal experiment at improving the understanding of how emerging technologies could impact the media sector and provide opportunities to improve audience experiences with iPlayer.
“As the technology advances, voiceprints and artificial intelligence could enable even greater levels of personalisation,” explains Saihan. “For example, if you’re watching a programme on your tablet on your way back from work then, later on, when you’re settling down on the sofa, your TV could ask you if you wanted to carry on from where you left off. You might respond ‘No thanks, is there anything new I might like?’, and be offered some suggestions.”