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BBC to launch Alexa rival

Designed to work on smart speakers, TVs and mobile phones

The BBC has announced plans to launch its own rival to Alexa next year.

The digital voice assistant will not be a hardware device, but is being designed to work on all smart speakers, TVs and mobile phones.

The assistant will wake when users say the word “Beeb”, although that is currently a working title, the Corporation said.

BBC staff around the UK are being invited to record their voices to help train the programme to recognise different accents.

According to a BBC spokesman, having its own assistant would enable it to “experiment with new programmes, features and experiences without someone else’s permission to build it in a certain way”.

“Much like we did with BBC iPlayer, we want to make sure everyone can benefit from this new technology, and bring people exciting new content, programmes and services – in a trusted, easy-to-use way.”

“This marks another step in ensuring public service values can be protected in a voice-enabled future.”