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BBC releases first beta of its Beeb voice assistant to UK Windows Insider members

Back in August 2019, the BBC made some waves with the news that it was developing a voice assistant called Beeb, an English language “Alexa” of its own that could interact with and control its array of radio and TV services, and its on-demand catalogue, and able to understand the array of accents you find in across the BBC’s national footprint to boot.
Ten months on, it’s releasing its first live version of the service in the form of a beta to a select group of early adopters: UK-based members of the Windows Insider Program, a beta-testing, bug-seeking, early-adopter group popular in the Windows community, with over 10 million users globally.
The idea with the limited release beta — according to Grace Boswood, COO of BBC Design and Engineering — will be to get Insiders to try out various features and stress test Beeb in the early beta, while at the same time giving the BBC a trove of usage data that can help it continue to train Beeb further, ahead of a wider release. The BBC is not naming a date yet for the general release.
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