Voice Recognition Still Has Significant Race and Gender Biases

Voice AI is becoming increasingly ubiquitous and powerful. Forecasts suggest that voice commerce will be an $80 billion business by 2023. Google reports that 20% of their searches are made by voice query today — a number that’s predicted to climb to 50% by 2020. In 2017, Google announced that their speech recognition had a 95% accuracy rate. While that’s an impressive number, it begs the question: 95% accurate for whom?

Speech recognition has significant race and gender biases. As with facial recognition, web searches, and even soap dispensers, speech recognition is another form of AI that performs worse for women and non-white people. To be clear, I do not believe that the creators of these systems set out to build racist or sexist products. It’s doubtful these biases are intentional, but they are still problematic. The fact is that speech recognition understands white male voices well…but what about the rest of us? READ MORE ON: HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW

CultureYusra Hamid