Modev Blog

Subscribe Here!

Voice in Pop Culture

Voice technology is now part of pop culture. If you look for it you’ll see it characterized throughout film, television, and music in different ways.

The youngest Google Developer Expert and active Voice Developer, Denis Valášek, of yadada, joined us at VOICE Global 2021 to discuss some of the contrasting ways in which voice tech is portrayed in film and television. He also provided insights into what those portrayals mean in regards to our expectations towards voice tech.

Voice on the big screen

According to Valášek, voice tech is often either overestimated or underestimated in film and TV shows. It's quite rare that voice tech is rendered realistically on-screen compared to real life.

"Sometimes voice is portrayed as totally overpowered in movies and TV series. We are talking supercomputers on space ships that fulfill every task; the extra speech is perfect speech to text as well. Nobody makes any mistakes in pronunciation. Everything is understood correctly, and when it's not, it's a huge part of the plot,” said Valášek. “This sets up unrealistic expectations in the minds of the viewers of what voice can do today. And that's, of course, a problem. On the other side of the spectrum, we show what voice can do today, and that it's being taken as a joke. And some of those TV series and movies portray voice assistants as things that can do basically nothing. And it then begs the question, why use them? And that's obviously not good for our industry," Valášek told us.

Why are the droids in “Star Wars” not seen as evil? Denis Valášek's interview is full of fun and insightful facts about how voice tech is depicted in the world of film and television. View his interview, where he reveals his pick for the weirdest vocal assistant ever portrayed in a movie and dives into pop culture’s portrayal of voice tech and AI.

Humanity in voice tech

But film and television aren't the only cultural avenues voice tech can take. Harry Yeff (aka Reeps One), crowned the world's top beatboxer and humanitarian in the voice AI world, also joined us at VOICE Global 2021 to talk about his purposeful approach to incorporating the human voice into technology.

To Yeff, the human voice is one of the most complex designs in nature. And that complexity plays a big role in making voice tech so deep and engaging. "This is one of the most complex, incredible sort of designs in all of nature. That is the human voice. And when we have a conversation like this, that is, by definition, one of the most complex acts in all of nature. So these opportunities are happening for a reason. We're not just talking about another part of the body or another opportunity. This is one of the greatest achievements in all of nature. And that's why there are still so many new findings because of how vast and complex it is," says Yeff.

He uses AI to identify the resonant frequencies in an audio recording and translates those frequencies into RGB color information to generate a unique color palette. "And then with the qualities like volume, tone, and pitch, we actually put it through a bespoke system that sculpts and shapes its 200,000 particles. And every single voice creates a different gem," Yeff explains. These are unique gemstones that can immortalize a moment - an audio moment.

View the full interview to hear all of the creative and innovative ways Harry Yeff incorporates the power of voice and technology into digital art.

Missed VOICE Global live? Watch Denis Valášek and Harry Yeff discuss the different crossroads where voice, tech, and culture intersect at VOICE Global on-demand here. View the VOICE Global speaker lineup to see what other engaging speakers joined us across various industries.

VOICE Global