KQED Radio
KQED Newssee more
Latest Newscasts:KQEDNPR
Player Sponsored By
upper waypoint

A Tech Startup Removes Accents from Call Center Workers’ Speech. Does that Mask Bigger Problems?

at
Save ArticleSave Article
Failed to save article

Please try again

 (iStock)

The tech startup Sanas transforms accented English to a white, midwestern American voice. Sanas contends that this technology can help overseas call center workers who are dealing with racist harassment. But those who have studied call centers and the “white voice” say this only puts a filter over the very problems the technology aims to remedy. We’ll talk with experts about intolerance for accented speech, the challenges facing international call center workers and what it means to “sound white.

Related link(s):

Sanas, the buzzy Bay Area startup that wants to make the world sound whiter

Guests:

Sharath Keshava Narayana, Co-Founder & COO, Sanas

Joshua Bote, assistant news editor, SFGATE

Winifred Poster, director, Labor Tech Research Network; adjunct faculty in International Affairs, Washington University St. Louis; author, “Borders in Service: Enactments of Nationhood in Transnational Call Centres”

Tom McEnaney, associate professor of Comparative Literature and of Spanish and Portuguese, UC Berkeley

Sponsored

lower waypoint
next waypoint
Can Science Explain a Broken Heart?Election 2024: Key Races and Ballot Measures in the March PrimaryBarbara McQuade on the Disinformation That's 'Sabotaging America'After Closure Announcement, a Look at Macy’s Heyday…and Union Square’s FuturePolitical and Legal Fallout Continues After Alabama IVF RulingElection 2024: SF’s Prop F Would Cut Cash Aid for People Who Use Drugs and Refuse TreatmentThe Explosion of Beirut’s Port Told Through the Lives of Women in “All She Lost”Election 2024: Concerns about Joe Biden Focus Spotlight on Kamala HarrisPerformance Reviews are Underperforming. What Should Replace Them?Tommy Orange’s ‘Wandering Stars’ Examines the Legacy and Consequences of Cultural Erasure