The voices of women in technology are still being erased


This is still the case. When we hear a woman’s voice in a technology product, we may not know who she is, whether she is real, and if so, whether she agrees to use her voice in this way. Many TikTok users believe that the text-to-speech they hear on the app is not a real person. But it is: it belongs to a Canadian voice actor named Bev Stand, and Stand has never allowed the company ByteDance that owns TikTok to use it.

permanent Sued the company In May of this year, she claimed that the way her voice is used—especially the way users can say anything, including swear words—is damaging her brand and her ability to earn a living. Her voice is called “the voice on TikTok,” and you can say whatever you like without payment, which she claims damages her ability to get voice jobs.

Then, when TikTok suddenly cancelled her voice, Standing, like the rest of us, noticed the change-by hearing the change and seeing reports about it. (TikTok has not yet commented on the voice changes to the media.)

Those familiar with the story of Apple’s Siri may have a sense of deja vu: Susan Bennett, the woman who dubbed the original Siri, do not know either Her voice was used for that product until it came out. Bennett was eventually replaced by “American English Female Voice”, and Apple Never publicly admitted she. Since then, Apple has written confidentiality clauses in the voice actors’ contracts, and recently claimed that its new dubbing is “Completely generated by software,” eliminates the need to give credit to anyone.

These events reflect disturbing common patterns in the technology industry. The way people’s achievements are valued, recognized, and paid for often reflects their status in the wider society rather than their actual contributions. One reason why the names of Bev Standing and Susan Bennett are now widely known on the Internet is that they are extreme examples of how women’s jobs can be erased, even if it is there for everyone to see or hear.

The way people’s achievements are valued, recognized, and paid for often reflects their status in the wider society rather than their actual contributions.

When women in the tech industry speak, they are often told to be quiet-especially if they are women of color.Timnit Gebru, who has a PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University, recently Fired by Google, After she said her thoughts, she co-led an artificial intelligence ethics team pay attention to About the company’s large language model.Her co-leader Margaret Mitchell (she has a PhD from the University of Aberdeen, focusing on natural language generation) is also Dismissed After talking about Gebru’s dismissal.Elsewhere in the industry, whistleblowers like Sophie Zhang On Facebook, Susan Fowler At Uber, and Many other women Find themselves silent and often fired because they try to complete their work and mitigate the direct or indirect result of the harm they see in the technology company where they work.

Even women who founded startups find themselves erased in real time, and for women of color, the problem gets worse again. Rumman Chowdhury holds a PhD from the University of California, San Diego. She is the founder and former CEO of Parity, a company that focuses on ethical artificial intelligence. She sees her role in her company’s history minimize By the New York Times.



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