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Envisioning Equitable Speech Technologies for Black Older Adults

Robin Brewer
Christina Harrington
FaCCT (2023)


There is increasing concern that how researchers currently define and measure fairness is inadequate. Recent calls push to move beyond traditional concepts of fairness and consider related constructs through qualitative and community-based approaches, particularly for underrepresented communities most at-risk for AI harm. One in context, previous research has identified that voice technologies are unfair due to racial and age disparities. This paper uses voice technologies as a case study to unpack how Black older adults value and envision fair and equitable AI systems. We conducted design workshops and interviews with 16 Black older adults, exploring how participants envisioned voice technologies that better understand cultural context and mitigate cultural dissonance. Our findings identify tensions between what it means to have fair, inclusive, and representative voice technologies. This research raises questions about how and whether researchers can model cultural representation with large language models.