Join the Tech Policy Lab for a talk with Joseph Turow, Robert Lewis Shayon Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania.
His talk will be about the voice intelligence industry, a new sector of society that marketers are building to collect information about individuals from the ways they talk and sound. When you speak, “intelligent assistants” can draw inferences about you, using analytical formulas—algorithms—generated by machine learning techniques. The goal of the industry nowadays is to home in on individuals’ emotions, sentiments, and personality characteristics to help persuade them, often in real time. The goal in the not-so-distant future may be to home in on people’s weight, height, age, ethnicity, and more—all things scientists believe leak from your voice. The power that is giving marketers to model ways to discriminate among consumers and citizens—and to erode their freedom to make choices under the guise of giving them new ways to choose—is unprecedented and troubling. The ways it is permeating the population involves industrial strategies regarding seductive surveillance, the spiral of personalization, and the inculcation of habitus. The growth of the industry also raises questions of social policy that are barely being addressed.