Why Does Siri Sound White

Mar 5, 2020



Recognizing the assumptions present in how we talk about our work and the future of design is critical. With over 80% of the design industry being white, the language used to socialize design is steeped in various assumptions that devalue the lives and experiences of marginalized people. Thus, legitimate design critique becomes synonymous with white voices and fails to successfully integrate the “diversity of thought” often touted as an initiative in our companies. Using the question “Why Does Siri Sound White,” we will explore what this phrase means in a cultural and design context and how it impacts the way we personify future voice technologies and validate natural language processing models. Learning Outcomes Include: An understanding of historical context of oppressive language and design terminology New vocabulary for culturally aware design conversations A list of projects increasing representation of diverse voices and languages Actionable steps to develop a more critical UX practice



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