Computers can’t understand men

Computers find cool, calm female voices easier to understand than awful, stammering men, according to the latest research.

It was found that voice recognition computers find it easier to understand women’s voices as they tended to have less variation in pitch and tone. Edinburgh University researchers studied hours of phone calls and tried to find out how much of the conversation could be deciphered by the machines.

TechEye caught up with Dr Sharon Goldwater from Edinburgh University to get the lowdown.

“It seems that it is mainly due to the number of hesitations in the speech. Like going “um”, “ah”, stuttering or restarting sentences,” explained Dr Goldwater. “From our research men do this more and that’s what upsets the voice recognition software.

“Originally we thought it was because women are better at articulating what they mean better then men. But it just seems that they just stammer and stutter less.”

The study was a collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and Stanford University in the US, and published in the journal Speech Communication.