Hey, Siri:

What about Te Reo speakers?

Opinion: I orea te tuatara ka puta ki waho. This whakataukī translates as: "A problem is solved by continuing to find solutions." It refers to the need for creative thinking, adaptability and perseverance. To solve a problem, you need to have all of these.

It is easy, when we are interacting with voice assistants on digital devices or customer services phone lines, to feel we are wrong in how we speak and understand languages. But the problem lies with the inability of speech technology to recognise and synthesise the diversity of how humans speak. Automated voice assistants often recognise wrongly the words we speak and, in many cases, we struggle to understand what the voice assistant is saying as well.

Voice assistants have automatic speech recognition and speech synthesis systems embedded in them. These systems are trained on popular languages and standardised accents such as American English. Users without exposure to these accents, or who do not have these accents, find it challenging to interact with voice assistants. This is bias, which is defined as providing systematically and statistically worse usability of technology for a social group.

Link to article: Hey, Siri: What about Te Reo speakers? (msn.com)


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