The latest installment of MozFest Dialogues & Debates will explore the exclusionary data sets that often power voice technology — and their repercussions.
Virtual assistants and voice-based interfaces are becoming more prevalent throughout society. But the data sets that power them frequently have blind spots, meaning certain communities and populations can’t access the technology’s full potential — or even access it at all.
Bias and exclusion have a long, shared history with technology. But this time the relationship is more pronounced: If Alexa isn’t familiar with your culture — accent, popular phrases, etc. — you simply don’t get to use Alexa. With voice-first interfaces rising in popularity, who are they leaving behind on the way up?
In this panel, Mozilla facilitates a conversation between researchers, artists, and technologists to unpack the repercussions of — and solutions to — exclusionary voice data.
This panel is slated for Thursday, September 2 at 11am ET, and titled “Voice Concerns: The Need For Diversity In Voice AI Datasets.”
Audience members are able to submit their questions ahead of time by tweeting @mozilla with the hashtag #DialoguesAndDebates.
Our 40-minute panel will feature:
Hillary Juma | Hillary is Common Voice Community Manager at Mozilla. Mozilla Common Voice is an open-source initiative to make voice technology more inclusive. Contributors donate speech data to a public dataset, which anyone can then use to train voice-enabled technology.
Kathleen Siminyu | Kathleen Siminyu is an AI researcher who has focused on Natural Language Processing for African languages. She works at Mozilla as a Machine Learning Fellow to support the development of a Kiswahili Common Voice dataset and to build speech transcription models for end use cases in the agricultural and financial domains.
MozFest Dialogues & Debates is Mozilla’s speaker series that usually occurs in-person each year. We’re expanding the series into virtual terrain, to bring internet users the information they need to understand and advocate for a healthy and humane digital world. Watch past MozFest Dialogues & Debates here.