BBC R&D

Posted by Libby Miller on

A few people have changed teams, and two teams are in a planning stage at the moment, so this is a short one. But firstly...

Joiners and leavers

We are super-sad to lose Emma and Oscar, who have been graduate trainees with us for the last eight months. They’re moving up to Salford for their next placements. There will be blog posts as they write up their respective work on emotional machines and multimodal voice experiences.

Happily, Jack is starting next week as a graduate trainee with the Stories team.

Team updates

The Stories Team (whose name will likely change) have been discussing what strands of work they’ll be doing in the next 6-12 months, and have decided on Talking with Machines, Audio Augmented Reality, Connected Cars, and Research as their broad areas of interest.

The audio interactive narrative experiences project with Queen Mary is now well underway. The idea is that multiple people will have an augmented audio experience together. They’re currently moving from the pure interaction mechanics to make it into more of a concept, so to help with this, last week the Emergency Chorus theatre-makers came in for a performance, and yesterday a writer visited, both of which experiences helped a great deal.

The Data Team have been implementing the Syncnet pipeline, to detect which person in a video is speaking. The next step is to integrate it into their Content Analysis Toolkit infrastructure. They’ve also been writing a lot of docs, tackling technical debt, and benchmarking.

The team have been working on an improved demonstrator showing how the CAT system might benefit researchers in the BBC who are looking for one or two specific people on screen, or a clip containing a half-remembered quote.

Screenshot of the new CAT prototype

Holly’s been leading some work to interview people who might use the system within the BBC. Mathieu and Andrew have changed the user interface to be more search focused. They also improved the filtering capabilities - as can be seen in the screenshot below.

The Disco Team is morphing into the Better Internet Team (name To Be Confirmed), and we’re currently doing some small projects while we finish off the last set and plan for the next.

Alicia has made a web extension based on work done with Chris Newell in the Mental Health hackday last year, to help people who avoid the news completely because they find aspects of it upsetting. The extension allows you to mute upsetting content using keyword terms stored locally on the user’s device.

We’ve also kicked off a short project with Full Fact, to user test some of their automated fact checking tools.

Links

The Real Reason Fans Hate the Last Season of Game of Thrones It's not just bad storytelling- it’s because the storytelling style changed from sociological to psychological

The Gardener’s Vision of Data - Data science reduces people to subjects that can be mined for truth

Five Problems with Speculative Design