Voice Technology touches so many domains in our lives from virtual assistants, accessing financial services, healthcare to automatic subtitle generation. Unfortunately, most languages in the world are not equally represented in voice technology. Language isn’t just about words - it’s about livelihoods, trans-generational knowledge, and culture. According to the Digitial Financial Service Lab and Caribou Digitial in 2018, some commercial voice processing tools don’t favour “languages of the poor”.
We want to bring together language activists, from low-resource languages, computational linguistics, and you to reflect on your experiences of voice technology. The session will include guest speakers influencing and shaping voice technology, who reflect on thought-provoking questions such as:
What are the success and challenges in bringing the world's languages to the internet age?
What narratives do our communities have on voice technologies such as voice assistants?
What support and resources do low-resource languages use to digitize their language in voice technology?
In digitizing languages through voice technology how are we ensuring languages communities benefit the most from them?
Considering the ecological influence on language diversity, how can we sustainably develop voice technology without further putting people and communities at risk?
By the end of the session, we would like to create with participants a manifesto on what the future of health voice technology digitizes languages equally and equitably.
By the end of the session, we would like to create with participants a manifesto on what the future of health voice technology digitizes languages equally and equitably.Why did you choose that space? How does your session align with the space description? –
Digitizing Cultures & Languages Space
We designed this session based on the description of Digitizing Cultures & Languages Space. We wanted to engage with the wider tech community to reflect and discuss the different ways in which technology impacts languages differently and similarly.How will you deal with varying numbers of participants in your session? What if 30 participants attend? What if there are 3? –
We want to ensure each participant feels valued and involved in the discussion.
We could use tools such as slido or hand-raising depending on the size of attendees at the session.
We hope the manifesto creation helps to encourage more holistic thinking within this space.What language would you like to host your session in? –
English, Dutch, Frisian, Bengali, German, Russian, Greek, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian, Mandarin, Kiswahili, Cantonese