In October I began working with the team at BBC Voice & AI, helping them with their forthcoming beeb voice assistant. It’s been fascinating contributing to this process of shaping the assistant’s persona, as the team develop their remarkably ambitious project.
The voice assistant was announced at the end of August, and is being developed by the team responsible for existing BBC voice experiences including CBeebies bedtime stories and interactive games.
From a technical perspective, the voice assistant will be based on a new technology called Songbird. This uses synthetic speech generation to “transform the BBC’s existing text-based journalism into audio” and “listen to questions, and find an answer from the BBC’s immense vault of pre-existing journalism”.
In addition, Beeb is being developed with the BBC’s radio archives in mind, and that it will be able to present people with relevant audio clips.
In August we were approached by Red Bull to consult on a recently launch podcast for the Scuderia Alpha Tauri Formula 1 team, formerly Toro Rosso. With a considerable audience under 25, through liaising with Alpha Tauri admin and host Josh Kruse, we distilled the...read more
I'm very excited to have been asked to be part of the We Are Europe activities for 2020 alongside a number of people whose work I really admire. We Are Europe, the European cooperation project that was launched in 2015 is embarking a new 3-year cycle (2019-2021)...read more
In December, Sound Motives Studio worked with Freuds / Atomized Studios to deliver an audio advert, promoting Public Health England's Every Mind Matters and The FA's Heads Up mental health campaigns. The advert features HRH The Duke of Cambridge alongside a number of...read more
Having really enjoyed other people's end of year lists, I thought I'd put a list together that runs through some of the discoveries I've made, or moments I've enjoyed in 2019. It's a list of everything from podcasts, to music, to videos. If you find something...read more
I'm currently helping the team who make the daily flagship podcast, The Intelligence with podcast production. It's fascinating to see how the team work together with their journalists from around the globe, to make a 20+ minute podcast with 3 different stories per...read more
Off the back of the Guardian Voice Lab project, as well as doing some development work on a forthcoming series due in the autumn, I had the opportunity to produce Politics Weekly for the month of May. Here are a couple of highlight episodes for me, from the four-week...read more
We launched our second project at The Guardian Voice Lab this week! It's a flash briefing that combined human and synthetic voice, which was a lot of fun work on. Working with SSML was a new experience for me, and although working in code was daunting initially, it's...read more
One of our responsibilities on The Voice Lab has been to write weekly blog posts about our progress. As Editorial Lead within the team, my posts have approached the meeting point that exists in voice between software developers and editorial/content creators, from the...read more
As previously discussed in an early blog post, in late October I began a 6 month contract at The Guardian's Voice Lab, fulfilling the role of editorial lead/audio producer within a 4-person software-focused team (alongside a product lead, a programmer and an UX...read more
At the end of October I was offered a role working on a new initiative from The Guardian developing audio content for Google's Home smart speaker and Google Assistant. Guardian News & Media is pleased to announce the launch of Guardian Voice Lab - an in-house team...read more