An introduction to a new experiment looking at how we respond to artificial voices from BBC R&D and University of Salford.
The uncanny valley: does it happen with voices? While images of near-human robots can be creepy, the same thing doesn’t seem to happen from disembodied voices.
I’ve been reanalysing a pioneering experiment into radio voices: “In his book Voice and Personality, [Professor] Pear explained what inspired his experiment. He recounted listening to a radio play over headphones one day in a gloomy room lit only by the glow from his fire. Engrossed in the play, he conjured up in his mind… Continue reading Voices on the Radio
More results from a pioneering psychoacoustic experiment into the human voice.
New analysis of Voice and Personality “Ten years ago the art of listening to speech hardly existed. Eyes were glutted while ears were starved. Print reached millions by their firesides, the voice a few score on hard benches in a gloomy hall. Broadcasting has changed all that.” Professor T H Pear, Professor of Psychology, 1931… Continue reading A remarkable 1920s experiment into the voice
How listener’s hear beatboxing, and how the performer exploits an auditory illusion in performance.
Why do people not like the sound of their own voice?
The Queen’s Christmas message from 2017 has a nice juxtaposition of her current voice and how she sounded 60 years earlier (about 45 seconds into the video below). How has her voice changed? And why have women’s voice pitch dropped in recent decades? The first thing I take from hearing the two Christmas messages is… Continue reading The lowering of the Queen's voice
Time to tackle the most important issue of the day, the pronunciation of scone. Do you say scone so it rhymes with ‘gone’ or ‘stone’? There is nothing perhaps more likely to cause an argument over pronunciation down the pub than that particular word. Why saying the name of a cake should have become quite so controversial and… Continue reading How do you say scone?
Is Alexa really a threat to regional accents?