The Role of AI in Voice Ethics - PerfectionGeeks
A metaverse is a place where AI voices can flourish. AI is playing a very impactful role in our day-to-day lives. It informs healthcare decisions, makes recommendations, helps us resolve customer service problems, talks with us as companion bots, and makes financial decisions. AI also drives autonomous cars and assists employees in making better-informed decisions. AI applications can make decisions that impact people's privacy and happiness. From now on, ethical AI must not be an afterthought. In very few situations, people would prefer to hear an AI voice over the real thing.
An AI voice start-up founder might find this a strange statement. Research shows that humans understand natural speech in a way that technology cannot match. Our brains have evolved to recognize reassuring nuances of speech that let us feel safe and trust the speaker.
However, many companies have been enticed to adopt AI voices over the past decade by advances in synthetic speech, a trend that was accelerated by the digital audio revival.
Tech giants stand behind ethical AI
It must be transparent and easily explained to ensure AI is ethical. Unconscious biases should be eliminated or prevented, and humans must review AI regularly. Brands that develop, create, or use AI must adhere to ethical standards. Google and Microsoft are among the companies that have published ethical AI principles. Microsoft uses its Office of Responsible AI to implement its ethical standards through the AI, Ethics and Effects in Engineering and Research Committee (Aether), and Responsible AI Strategy in Engineering.
Aside from following ethical guidelines when developing AI applications, brands must ensure that AI is not used for purposes that are detrimental to the greater good of the community or the entire world. Google has stated that it will cooperate with government agencies on Voice technology for cybersecurity and training, military recruitment, veterans’ healthcare, search and rescue, but it will not develop AI-based weapons and other technologies "whose primary purpose or implementation it is to cause or facilitate injury to people."
Voice assistant usage is expanding to include larger audiences, different age groups, and users in diverse locations, so ethics of voice technology service are becoming important considerations for both brands and voice-AI providers. We will see more scrutiny about how data is collected and used. This is due to the increasing popularity of voice interfaces. Brands are also likely to be more careful about how their voice assistants are being used. It might be a good idea to get involved in the conversation now, and not wait for others to do so.
The voice AI space is not unique in what's going on. The public often begins to question the unintended effects of any new technology once it gains acceptance and popularity. The public can start to question whether the technology is being used in their best interests or if certain elements, like data and tracking, are having unintended, negative consequences.
Responsible companies respond quickly to any questions they receive and take steps to avoid future problems. Companies must be informed of potential concerns and offered a solution before they can take action. Transparency is key to trusting a brand. These issues are constantly evolving and brands should evaluate which solution works best for them. However, there are some general ethical considerations when designing voice assistants. It doesn't matter if the brand already has a voice assistant, or is just beginning to plan for it, it is important to address ethical issues now to create a better voice AI design.
These are the 4 ethical considerations to consider when creating a voice assistant.
- Privacy and data collection
- Suggestive language
- Children users
- Cultural biases
Feast stated that transparency is key to ethical AI applications. Feast stated that ethical AI must be implemented by business leaders who prioritize transparency and communicate a clear benefit for all users.
Privacy and data collection for voice assistants.
Consumers were concerned about privacy, data collection, listening in, and privacy when early voice assistants were designed and implemented. This distrust led to distrust between brands and users to the point that some consumers chose to not adopt any voice-enabled devices.33% of U.S. adults say that fear of voice assistants recording is the top reason they don't buy the device.
Transparency about data collection and use builds trust. Customers can opt in or out of data collection, which gives them a sense of control. It is crucial to assess whether the users trust the brand that you are considering partnering with to create a voice assistant.
A voice assistant that is owned by a large tech company with a history in data collection and listening could discourage consumers from using your voice assistant. Your company can create custom, branded voice assistants that allow you to build relationships, expand your brand, and communicate your data collection policies and usage policies.
Manufacturers can choose to use other connectivity options such as edge and embedded voice assistants if the use case does not require data from the cloud. Without the ability to connect to the cloud or to push updates and information to the device, sensitive data remains local and data collection is not an issue. Voice assistants that store sensitive information such as passwords will benefit from alternative connectivity options.
Privacy and data collection don't only apply to voice AI. Brands that use voice assistants in products, services, es, and mobile apps will need to be aware of these issues and plan to communicate more transparently with their users.
Synthetic speech is changing the paradigm
AI voice technology can be both practical and economical in many cases. Voice actors are cheaper than using text-to-speech APIs to convert written content. Voice actors are now capable of auditing large volumes, personalized content, and real-time updates. As voice technology improves, the benefits of synthetic speech are outweighing its disadvantages.
AI voices have made great strides in recent years. They are now free from the limitations of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems, personal assistants, and screen reader technology. Synthetic speech can now be used in audiobooks and film production, news media, and games stores. Innovation requires collaboration.
As AI voice adoption progresses, two problems arise. First, voice actors may be forced to leave their jobs. As with all automation, this is almost inevitable. The second problem is even more obscure: A stalemate among voice actors and AI firms will stifle innovation and diversity as well as fairness in voice technology.
Recent news stories about synthetic speech have sufficiently scared the voice actor industry. Voice actors have been used by companies to obtain perpetual rights to their voice IP. After the company had installed text-to-speech functionality based on Bev Standing's voice, TikTok settled with her in September 2021. The contract was with another company year before, which transferred her voice IP without her consent to TikTok.
Contracts for voice actors won't be entered into if they don't have fair control of their voice IP. This is a critical input to the development of AI voice modeling. If voice IP licensing standards for voice actors are not adopted, we will end up with robotic, generic, and soulless voices.
Imagine a world in which every newsreader, voice-over, and narrator sounded just like Alexa. No! This path to voice tech dystopia is reflected in the extent that which voice actors are marginalized and displaced by AI.
A new voice economy
We do however predict a better future and are working towards it. While automation of audio is inevitable, and our business depends on it, voice actors will not be replaced by artificial intelligence voices. A natural voice is the best option if a business can afford to hire a voice actor, and the recording process does not impede production.
Automation will occur in many areas: news articles and corporate communications, as well as educational content. This automation applies to situations where efficiency and volume are important. As AI voice modelling improves and technology advances, there will be more opportunities.
Voice's future success depends on creating fair business models that pay voice actors for their IP. Voice actors must be compensated and included to create a diverse, vibrant future for voice. Without humans, technology cannot duplicate human naturalness.
The European Commission established a high-level group of experts on artificial intelligence (AI HLEG), which published its Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI Intelligence. These guidelines outline seven requirements that AI systems must meet to be trusted.
- Oversight and human agency
- Safety and technical robustness
- Data governance and privacy
- Fairness, diversity, and non-discrimination
- The well-being of the entire society and the environment
These ethical guidelines for AI developers and designers worldwide should be standardized and accepted as AI plays a greater role in people's lives. Although it is unlikely that these rules will be made law, brands may add a voluntary guideline to their corporate social responsibility efforts.
There is progress. The Open Voice Network (OVON), a division of the Linux Foundation is pushing for open standards in voice licensing to protect voice actors and build trust with AI voices. beyond words launched a unique voice cloning contract last month with the OVON. This contract is a template that helps voice actors protect their IP while working in synthetic speech and ensures a fair rate.
This is the start of a new era in voice technology. Voice actors will be fairly compensated for their skills, creating a new voice economy and some very inspiring technology.
Artificial intelligence has flooded our lives. It connects us to people, groups, and content. It can make decisions about our credit, where and how we live, as well as where and when we work. Reach PerfectionGeeks Technologies as we are bridging the gaps. AI communicates with us via catboats, intelligent assistants, and even our cars. As AI's influence grows, developers and designers must adopt ethical conversational design standards.