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Mozilla Asks Everyone to Donate Their Voice

Voice recognition systems have become a very big deal over the past few years. Without them, we wouldn't have Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, or Google Now. But there's a problem. Each of those recognition systems improves the more people use them, but they are closed systems so no one other than Apple, Amazon, or Google benefits.

Mozilla, best known for the Firefox web browser, wants to change that. Mozilla believes voice recognition should be open to everyone and that the big corporations keeping it locked up "stifles innovation." There's no way you'd ever convince any of them to unlock their data, so instead Mozilla launched Project Common Voice.

The idea behind Project Common Voice is to "build an open-source voice recognition engine that anyone can use to make innovative apps for devices and the web." But in order for that to happen, Mozilla needs lots of voices. And that's where we can all help by donating our voices.

The Project Common Voice website includes an option to donate your voice. If you opt to do so, a number of sentences will be popped up in your web browser for you to say. Once recorded, you can play them back to check they are acceptable before submitting them to help the voice recognition engine learn.


The more people who decide to donate their voice, and the more sentences they choose to record, the better the system will get. Your voice recordings may end up being available in the Common Voice database for anyone to listen to, but that's the point. You are recording your voice to help create an open system, and one that may one day end up benefiting you through the apps and service you use. If you're concerned about how your voice will be used, then read the Common Voice Privacy Notice and Terms.

If you aren't happy to donate your voice, you can still help. Mozilla also needs people to listen to and validate the voice donations of others. The ultimate goal being to have 10,000 recorded and validated hours of audio in order to properly train their recognition system.

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