The BBC has been hard at work creating its take on Alexa and Google Assistant called ‘Beeb.’ Now Beeb is ready for testing, at least if you’re a Windows Insider in the UK. It’s early days though, so don’t get your hopes too high on a perfect experience.
When you use Alexa or Google, you’re giving up your data to those companies in exchange for a service. The BBC feels like it’s a more trustworthy location to house your data, so it’s building the Beeb to provide a viable alternative. Only time will tell if it sticks the landing on “viable.”
The BBC isn’t a stranger to working up new technology, though, as it previously created iPlayer and other software. But it’s not working alone; the broadcaster partnered with Microsoft to build the infrastructure behind it with Azure AI service.
And that’s where Windows Insider comes in as well. To get the Beeb BETA, you will need to sign up for the UK variant of the Windows Insider program, update your PC, then download the voice assistant from the Microsoft store.
Beeb can tell jokes, answer, call up radio and posts, and ask about news and weather. Much like the Ninth Doctor (played by Christopher Eccleston), the Beeb speaks with a male Northern accent. Because whether you’re an alien or a virtual assistant, lots of planets have a north.
Since it a beta, there’s bound to be plenty of problems. But if you’re ambitious and reside in the UK, you can download it and try Beeb today.