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Exclusion machine? Voice recognition to the challenge of regional languages

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                Online voice search is a voice communication device that allows you to give orders to a tablet, smartphone or virtual personal assistant.  This technology is gaining ground around the world, but some language communities fear being excluded from it.

                                    <p>While the web may seem very inclusive, it might not be that much.  Currently, just under 50% of the world's population still live without the possibility of an internet connection.  Moreover, emerging economies and marginalized linguistic communities are often the last to gain access.  This is the reason why the Mozilla foundation launched <strong>Common Voice</strong>, a crowdfunding project on a dedicated site to create a free database allowing the development of voice recognition software in order to defend a web that would be accessible and open to all.</p><h2>Supply the system with voice data</h2><p>Concretely, Common Voice has launched an initiative which invites Internet users to donate their voice data.  The objective of this operation is to develop various automatic speech transcription services thus offering an alternative to Siri, Alexa, Google Home, which, like many other high-tech conversational devices, are managed exclusively by large American firms. .  " <em>We expect to collect up to 10,000 hours of voices in all existing languages</em> », Specifies the foundation on its site which advises to the Net surfers to propose a diversity of vocal data while speaking as naturally as possible without trying to mask an accent or the familiar intonations specific to our conversations.

To carry out its project, the foundation needs data from the voices of women, men, children and the elderly, in order to gather all the diversity and richness of a language. The fact of having several tones of voice will make it possible to humanize the vocal devices, estimates Mozilla which recalls that these vocal data are entirely ” anonymized Before making them available to start-ups, language research centers, and even to its own computer engineers responsible for developing future voice recognition applications on its Internet browser.

A voice to break the isolation

To fully understand the challenge of this technology, it should be noted that in these times of pandemic, the voice is on the rise compared to the written word or the tactile, favored until now in digital uses. Podcasts, vocalization of instant messages, conversational robots and social networks to chat with others have made it possible to break a little the isolation imposed by repeated confinements.

Ultimately, a whole new electronic communication based primarily on audio is emerging. On the condition, however, that voice recognition systems finally understand the subtleties of your mother tongue, whatever its origin, its accents or even the rarity of its use.

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