The Ethics & Opportunities of Voice AI



In the past few decades, we have seen an explosion of voice interfaces. There are 500M speaking devices today and by 2021 they outnumber us. We are using voice to access financial accounts, health records, and other personal information. All of this is exists today because of a wild idea, a moonshot. Voice is changing, evolving, exploding and the opportunities and risks are limitless. Before we share our founder Rupal Patel’s vision for the Voice AI Moonshot, let’s have a look at the future of Voice AI.

Despite the sheer number of voice interfaces we have access to today, we are still treating voice as functional modality today → a way to transmit information. Even today’s spherical hardware devices that we refer to as conversational agents are merely for timely and topical information exchange. One monolithic voice – a butler of facts. How can we move past this and harness the true power of Voice AI?

"Our Voice AI Moonshot is a world where voice benefits all, not just some."

Graphic showing a line of color penetrating a sound wave to demonstrate attacks on voice systems

The future of voice AI lies in tapping into the intrinsic, human characteristics of voice as a social connector.

There is an evolutionary reason that we each have a unique voice. Our voice defines us – our age, size, cultural background, habits, sexual orientation, socioeconomic level and more. Specifically, voice is biometric data that can be used to predict and monitor physical and mental health, while also offering a window into cognition and learning readiness. This is the untapped power of voice.

The future of voice AI is about connection. To create contextually adapting voices that can calm or inspire with the flip of a bit.

The future of voice AI is about TRUST. To create relatable, compassionate voices that can engage a toddler and the aging lonely. It is important to note that these voices would not substitute for human contact, they would be an augmentation.

The future of voice AI is not one voice for all. It will be a multitude of vocal persona that capture the full range of human expression. Brands will design vocal persona that speak to their diverse audience, not just a few users. As individuals, will each have our own vocal avatars.

As we harness and emulate this awesome and powerful human trait, we must anticipate the unintended consequences. We must proactively identify and protect against the potential for nefarious use. Voice is identity that cannot be swapped like passwords PINs, it must be secured from the start.

The Voice AI Moonshot

For this reason, as technologists, it is important that we take seriously our role in the creations of new technologies. While our technology provides great social benefit, In every new advance in our technology we are proactively creating measures to ensure that it can not be misused. We are committed to being active in the shaping and realization of the Voice AI future and the Voice AI Moonshot.

To our founder, Rupal Patel, the Voice AI Moonshot is a universe of voices that are convincing without being deceptive. The Voice AI future she envisions is one in which voices connect us rather than divide us, and where these voices will celebrate our diverse yet common humanity. Finally, our Voice AI Moonshot is a world where voice benefits all, not just some.

To learn more about Rupal Patel and VocaliD, please read our company page.

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