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Commissioning Executive, Voice

Please Note: The application deadline for this job has now passed.

Job Introduction

Voice + AI Assistants are the new frontier in interaction with internet services.  Assistants are rapidly becoming a part of everyday life for millions of consumers and are now the fastest growing medium for interaction with the internet across the country as well as globally.  Our mission within the BBC Voice +AI team is to shape interaction with the BBC at both an audience and organisational level through the use of assistants, and pioneer creative new formats that can surface and shape our catalogue in new ways to inform, educate and entertain.  We are about bringing the BBC to life in an artificial intelligence first world. It’s exciting stuff.

One of the key areas in which we intend to progress is in creating a pipeline of Voice-first experiences representing wider parts of the BBC creative portfolio.  So far we have created Voice-first experiences in areas such as children’s content, with the Webby Award-winning BBC Kids skill on Alexa, and in news, where we created a Voice-first interactive briefing on the Google Assistant for the Indian elections and are working on similar projects in the UK.  In so doing we have also established tooling to enable the faster creation of basic interaction frameworks for experiences on Voice Assistants into which we can publish a variety of new content experiences. 

Over the next twelve months we aim to create an experimental pipeline of further Voice experiences, engaging key parts of the BBC and the wider UK creative production community in using our tooling frameworks, educating them on the possibilities of Voice Assistants and learning lessons together about what sorts of interaction people may want from BBC content as this technology spreads.  To enable this we are recruiting an Executive Producer – Delivery and a Commissioning Editor for 12 months, who between them will engage a wide variety of creative producers, departments and production companies and will work alongside Product to realise a number of experimental experiences on Assistants.

Role Responsibility

As the Commissioning Editor leading this part of the Voice project, you will be responsible for external outreach with a wide range of internal and external producers, spreading knowledge of BBC Voice + AI and inviting – through carefully constructed commissioning frameworks – the development and eventual production of a range of experimental offers.  You will work with Marketing and Audiences, as well as the Executive Producer – Delivery, to create a pipeline of work that maps to and helps inform our wider priorities for the BBC in the Voice + AI arena.  To achieve this you will not only have an instinct for what makes compelling digital content, but also show insight into the deeper need states, utilities and habitual experiences that the BBC’s public service may be able to offer on Assistants. You will have administrative oversight of the funds with which to commission, and will regularly report back on the efficacy and performance of that spend, using data and analytics to evaluate and set new directions. The Executive Producer – Delivery, who you will work closely with, will project manage complex technical and creative process that sees these experiences to air, and you will ensure relationships with departments and external producers are well managed as this proceeds.

You will manage a small team of producers who work directly with peers in the BBC’s Design and Engineering community – from the worlds of product, engineering, architecture, user design, business development and audiences.  The relevant teams working on Voice-first interaction tooling are based in Salford. 

This is a tough but genuinely innovative job that will demand the entrepreneurship and resilience to imagine new types of BBC services, high editorial and creative standards, a mind that can master technical innovation and conversational AI, the management of people and relationships, and the ability to represent the BBC and build and manage a wide range of external and internal relationships on behalf of the world’s leading public broadcaster. Working closely with the Voice + AI Senior Leadership Team, you will assist the practical creation of audience experiences for Voice assistants, building on the BBC’s history of informing the world, impartially, accurately and creatively.

Are you the right candidate?

You will be someone with technical understanding and a mindset that can understand the architecture of Virtual Assistants.  You will be interested in the emerging fields of AI storytelling, conversational design and the modality of Voice. Depending on audience testing and relevant resource constraints, the aim will be to develop new ideas offline, test with audiences, and then bring Voice-first experiences to market and manage an operation to deliver them to BBC editorial standards.

Please see the attached job description for further information on the essential criteria for this role. 

Package Description

Band: E
Contract type: 1 x fixed-term contract / attachment to end of Jun 2020
Location: New Broadcasting House, London

We’re happy to discuss flexible working. Please indicate your choice under the flexible working question in the application. There is no obligation to raise this at the application stage but if you wish to do so, you are welcome to. Flexible working will be part of the discussion at offer stage.

  • Excellent career progression – the BBC offers great opportunities for employees to seek new challenges and work in different areas of the organisation.
  • Unrivalled training and development opportunities – our in-house Academy hosts a wide range of internal and external courses and certification.
  • Benefits- We offer a competitive salary package, a flexible 35-hour working week for work-life balance and 26 days holiday with the option to buy an extra 5 days, a defined pension scheme and discounted dental, health care, gym and much more.

About the BBC

We don’t focus simply on what we do – we also care how we do it. Our values and the way we behave are important to us. Please make sure you’ve read about our values and behaviours in the document attached below.

Diversity matters at the BBC. We have a working environment where we value and respect every individual's unique contribution, enabling all of our employees to thrive and achieve their full potential.

We want to attract the broadest range of talented people to be part of the BBC – whether that’s to contribute to our programming or our wide range of non-production roles. The more diverse our workforce, the better able we are to respond to and reflect our audiences in all their diversity. 

We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from individuals, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, social background, religion and/or belief. We will consider flexible working requests for all roles, unless operational requirements prevent otherwise.

To find out more about Diversity and Inclusion at the BBC, please click here


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