What are the politics and aesthetics of synthesized voices? What notions of identity, personhood and will do we ascribe to the synthesized voices communicating with us?

Living in a world where machines are talking to us with voices, personalities and emotional expressions, we believe it is important to discuss questions of representation, character design and aesthetics. Most of the synthesized voices we hear from our mobile phones, smart assistants, and in transportation systems have one vocal identity. This could be different.

[multi’vocal] is an ever-evolving non-binary synthesized voice created by a (digital) community of participants with different age, gender, and geographical origin. We seek to create an open source and participatory alternative to the proprietary voices with singular identities. We present iterations of the voice on events and talks but the voice is currently not available online.

Who are we?

The [multi’vocal] collective is an art and research based community exploring synthesized voices with a feminist activist approach.

Alice Emily Baird

Alice is a audio researcher and artist from the UK. Currently a research scientist and Ph.D. candidate for the Chair Embedded Intelligence for Health Care and Wellbeing, at Augsburg University, Germany. Alice's general research interests include computer audition, ethics in AI, applied machine learning, affective computing, computational paralinguistics, audio generation, and audio perception.

Frederik Tollund Juutilainen

Frederik is a software developer and dj from Copenhagen. He has a degree in philosophy and computer science from Roskilde University, and a Master's in IT & Cognition. He works in the development and programming of digital-/physical installations and is a part of Group Therapy, a Copenhagen-based club-night focusing on diversity and representation in underground dance music.

Stina Hasse Jørgensen

Stina has a PhD from the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen, where she researched on the politics and aesthetics of synthesized voices. Stina has published articles on art, technology and sound in journals such as Digital Creativity, Transformations Journal of Media & Culture, Cultural Analysis, and Seismograf. She is currently a post doc at AIR Lab, IT University of Copenhagen.

Mads Steensig Pelt

Mads is a programmer, working with backend development, dev ops and software architecture for a Danish startup. He has experience with a wide-array of platforms and web frameworks. Mads is also an avid collector of exotica music, and plays in shoegaze-y band Krat.

Nina Cecilie Højholdt

Nina is an is interaction designer, developer and artist from Copenhagen. Her work focuses on the creation of interactive experiences, working with computation as a material for exploration. She has a bachelor from the IT University of Copenhagen and a Master's from Malmö Uniersity, and is a founder of art and design studio Circuit Circus.