The Good Robot

Pedro Oliviera on Voice Recognition Technologies and Border Control

March 14, 2023 Dr Kerry Mackereth and Dr Eleanor Drage
The Good Robot
Pedro Oliviera on Voice Recognition Technologies and Border Control
Show Notes

In this episode we talk to Pedro Oliveira, a researcher and sound artist based at the  Akademie der Kunste in Berlin. Pedro does amazing work investigating border control technologies that listen to asylum seekers and claim to be able to discern where they came from from the way they speak. In this episode we discuss why these kinds of technologies rely on the assumption that there is an authentic way that a migrant from a particular place should sound. Our quest to unravel vocal 'authenticity' takes us through frequency, timbre, and 1960s synthesisers from East Berlin.