Artificial Intelligence (AI) is everyone around us. My Firestick is constantly reminding me that if I ask Alexa she can recommend a recipe for me to try or remind me to buy laundry detergent. When we had Google Home, it could be asked to set a timer or play our favorite song. Siri on Apple phones apparently can argue with your or tell you jokes, like an old buddy. It’s insane how far technology has come!
For my graduate project, I want to know if a baby can tell the difference between his or her mom’s voice and an AI voice. Therefore, I’ve crafted a project where an AI voice has been created using online tools and this voice can sing to the baby or say a simple phrase such as, “Hello, baby. Everything is okay.” If AI can help soothe babies in a parent’s absence such as while a newborn is in the NICU during its first days and the mom is getting rest or if a baby is admitted to the hospital for a longer stay while the parents are at work, then AI may be a possible way to recreate the parent’s voice and help make the baby feel as if the mom is near. While some may feel this is creepy, it could also be a great way to take advantage of the technology which already exists and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Right now, I am trying to find families who are willing to try this project while they’re at home during these times of quarantine if you have some time to spare. Email me for details. Payment will be provided to participants in this research project. All identifying information will be kept confidential, and nothing is required to be provided to me regarding your home address, phone number, or things like that. I would just need to know your baby’s age, gender, and how they responded when you played the AI voice I created for my master’s project.