BBC Launches Pilot Chatbot from Nigerian Developers

The BBC World Service has made available a new way for audiences to interact with BBC News via its Nigerian-designed pilot BBC Newschatta.

It is the latest stage of the BBC World Service’s activities in Africa, which has already seen pilots launched in Nairobi, Kenya and Cape Town, South Africa as the BBC looks to increase its global reach to 500 million by 2020.

BBC Newschatta is a chatbot developed by Nigerian technology company Codulab, which generates news stories based on the user’s input, using keywords and topics to send relevant news stories to them via the WeChat Messenger app.

The pilot was developed following an open submission process by BBC Connected Studio and the BBC World Service at an event in Lagos in February 2016. Similar events have previously taken place in Kenya and South Africa, from which ideas have been developed into live products.

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