This paper aims to raise attention on the socio-material aspects of assistive technologies, wishing to foster collaboration and dialogue among engi-neering and social science as a way to better design and present assistive tools. It uses as an illustrative case the voice technologies for speech-impaired people, with particular focus on Google’s project to reunite speech-impaired users with their voices using voice cloning technology, an evolution of speech synthesis which allows for the reconstruction of the sonic and timbric characteristics of an individual person’s voice. The paper argues that assistive technologies in general, and voice technologies in the specific, are not only prosthesis, but also sites as sites of knowledge production about disability, that is sites where disability is defined in the first place. In this perspective the paper invites to consider how, in assistive technologies, cultural and social factors are as crucial as material operations.

Voice Cloning and the Socio-Cultural Challenges of Assistive Technologies

Domenico Napolitano
2022

Abstract

This paper aims to raise attention on the socio-material aspects of assistive technologies, wishing to foster collaboration and dialogue among engi-neering and social science as a way to better design and present assistive tools. It uses as an illustrative case the voice technologies for speech-impaired people, with particular focus on Google’s project to reunite speech-impaired users with their voices using voice cloning technology, an evolution of speech synthesis which allows for the reconstruction of the sonic and timbric characteristics of an individual person’s voice. The paper argues that assistive technologies in general, and voice technologies in the specific, are not only prosthesis, but also sites as sites of knowledge production about disability, that is sites where disability is defined in the first place. In this perspective the paper invites to consider how, in assistive technologies, cultural and social factors are as crucial as material operations.
978-3-9504997-8-0
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/891092
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