Big tech’s power over language, means power over people. Bridget Todd talks to AI community leaders paving the way for open voice tech in their own languages and dialects.
In this episode: AI builders and researchers in the US, Kenya and New Zealand who say the languages computers learn to recognize today will be the ones that survive tomorrow — as long as communities and local startups can defend their data rights from big AI companies.
Halcyon Lawrence was an Associate Professor of Technical Communication and Information Design at Towson University in Maryland (via Trinidad and Tobago) who did everything Alexa told her to for a year.*
Keoni Mahelona is a leader of Indigenous data rights and chief technology officer of Te Hiku Media, a Māori community media network with 21 local radio stations in New Zealand.
Kathleen Siminyu is an AI grassroots community leader in Kenya and a machine learning fellow with Mozilla’s Common Voice working on Kiswahili voice projects.
IRL: Online Life is Real Life is an original podcast from Mozilla, the non-profit behind Firefox. In Season 7, host Bridget Todd talks to AI builders that put people ahead of profit.
*Sadly, following the recording of this episode, Dr. Halcyon Lawrence passed away. We are glad to have met her and pay tribute to her legacy as a researcher and educator. Thank you, Halcyon.
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