Call center technology could remove accents
New artificial intelligence technology for call centers can essentially remove foreign accents on phone calls. It's a controversial idea, creating a new debate around accents: On the one hand, this could help protect workers from discrimination. On the other hand, skeptics argue it could actually exacerbate existing problems with discrimination. Some call center workers also are being trained in both using and understanding different English accents.
■Class discussion: Do you ever judge people by the way they talk? Could a program that automatically changes accents actually help us better understand each other? What about programs that could quickly translate one language into another? If artificial intelligence technology can change the way a person looks and sounds, how can tell what is real online? Would making us all sound or appear similar in the online world make discrimination worse in the physical world?