IBM's research system Marvel visually analyses images and video to help categorise content based on appearance. Because it does not rely on text tags inputted by BBC staff to identify content, it should improve the quality of searches for viewers/users accessing content online.
BBC director of future media and technology Ashley Highfield, said the alliance with IBM will offer new innovative services to its audiences.
IBM will also work with the broadcaster's creative teams and with the BBC's technology partner Siemens to make a pilot of its media hub technology to trial new business processes.
The BBC already has an established relationship with IBM, which includes consultancy, training, development support and results and analysis for sporting events.