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BBC Four experiments with AI for night of programming

Artificial Intelligence was used to discover a selection of programmes from the BBC's archive

BBC Four has employed artificial intelligence to compile two nights of programming dedicated to the new reality.

BBC 4.1 Artificial Intelligence TV will be broadcast on 4th and 5th September.

The Corporation has used AI to help discover a selection of hidden gems from the BBC’s archive that will be shown as part of BBC 4.1 AI TV

Using the latest AI technology from BBC Research & Development, BBC Four scanned programme information dating back to 1953 from over 250,000 TV programmes. The AI learnt what BBC Four audiences might like, based on the channel’s previous schedules and programme attributes, and then ranked programmes it thought were most relevant.

The BBC said attempting to do that manually would be “impractical” due to the amount of time it would have taken. Using AI means that researchers and schedulers were able to uncover programmes they may never have been able to find, and will broadcast a selection that haven’t been seen in years.

George Wright, head of internet research and future services, BBC R&D, said: “Helping BBC Four scour the BBC’s vast archives more efficiently is exactly why we’re developing this kind of AI. It can find very specific pieces of content in large libraries of programmes, which has massive benefits for BBC programme makers and audiences.”