Because people with Down syndrome have different facial skeletal and muscular systems, voice technology doesn’t always understand their speech patterns. This can be frustrating and counter-productive to voice technology’s purpose of providing ease and freedom in daily life. A new program called “Project Understood” aims to collect voice data from adults with Down syndrome in order to improve voice recognition models.
The Canadian Down Syndrome Society (CDSS) worked with FCB Canada to create a campaign asking people with Down syndrome to “teach” Google. Participants who qualify will be able to help train Google’s voice by reading out 1500+ phrases from the comfort of their homes, and over as many sessions as they please. Though people with Down syndrome are often associated with needing help, the campaign flips the stereotype around and turns them into the helpers.