Research IT

Research IT Involved in Major BBC Partnership

The university has recently announced a 5 year partnership with BBC Research and Development and seven other UK Universities to unlock the potential of data in the media. We are pleased to say that Research IT staff will be using their expertise in several areas of this important project.

Called the Data Science Research Partnership, it will be at the forefront of new statistical and machine learning in the media industry, helping create a more personal BBC experience. The partnership will also collaborate with media and technology organisations from across the UK and beyond on a range of projects. These will focus on the following four areas, all combining anonymised BBC data with cutting-edge algorithms and analytics.

  • Understanding audiences: Use data to better understand what audiences want from the BBC, why they want it, and what impact these programmes or services have on them.
  • Understanding content: Explore what machine learning can teach the BBC about its programmes and services, and what it stands to gain from it.
  • Curation and personalisation: Create a more personal BBC, designing tools and algorithms to help programme makers with editorial and commissioning decisions.
  • Content of the future: Design future audience experiences, based on BBC R&D’s object-based broadcasting concept, and new forms of data journalism.

Research IT will play a key role in the University of Manchester contribution by providing research software and data engineering expertise. Initially, Joshua Woodcock will be working with BBC R&D in Salford (with Caroline Jay, John Keane, and PhD student Jonathan Carlton in the School of Computer Science), looking at techniques for visualizing user interaction data.

To find out more about the partnership visit the BBC R&D website. If you would like to find out more about the University of Manchester involvement in the partnership, please contact Dr Caroline Jay, School of Computer Science.