Guardian announces launch of Guardian Voice Lab

Guardian News & Media last week announced the launch of Guardian Voice Lab - an in-house team dedicated to experimenting with storytelling and delivering journalism through smart speakers and interactive audio.

Guardian announces launch of Guardian Voice Lab

A small multidisciplinary team will work closely with the wider Guardian newsroom and product teams to create and test innovative ways to deliver audio journalism from The Guardian, using the Google Assistant platform.

Guardian Voice Lab will explore ways to deliver quality journalism through engaging and unique audio experiences on a smart speaker device, says The Guardian. The project is scheduled to run for six months with funding from Google.

Building on previous innovation initiatives - including Guardian VR (supported by Google) and the Mobile Innovation Lab (supported by the Knight Foundation) - the project will strengthen internal capabilities and understanding of best journalistic practices on new and developing technologies. The team will document their progress and learnings with readers and the wider media industry through a blog.

The Guardian Voice Lab team is Jeremy Pennycook - product lead, Susie Coleman - developer, Stéphane Massey - designer and David O’Donnell - audio producer.

The launch of Voice Lab follows the launch of The Guardian’s new daily podcast - Today in Focus - which takes a daily in-depth look at a key news event, hosted by Anushka Asthana.

Christian Bennett - Executive Editor, Multimedia, Guardian News & Media: “I'm really excited to see the Guardian Voice Lab team come together. It's important that we get to understand how future platforms can work for journalism as the platforms are still being built. This allows us to build a space for innovation and experimentation at the centre of the organisation and give them the time to explore the possibilities of voice technology.”

Anna Bateson - Chief customer officer, Guardian News & Media: “Guardian Voice Lab is designed to give a dedicated team the time, space and resources to innovate with smart speakers and work out how journalism can thrive on the platform. This project aims to be collaborative, not only across the Guardian, but across the industry by working with technology partners and sharing our learnings with our readers and the wider media.”