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BBC to Launch Alexa Rival

LONDON—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 U.K. are being invited to record their voices to help train the program to recognize different accents.

According to a BBC spokesman, having its own assistant would enable it to “experiment with new programs, 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, programs 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.”