Speech Recognition art installations
We made a space pod and outfitted it with immersive speech recognition and poetry/film projections that would animate when read out loud. Part of our ongoing project on animal astronauts.
We made a giant breast that would respond in motherese whenever anyone cooed into it. It saw a pretty wide range of reactions. Some people debated the sociological implications. In general, kids were afraid to go near it.
Some representative motherish noises it emitted:
Mewm mem myuoom, meeum mum!
Myeh myum moo myee myuh!
Meem myu myeahm, myee myoo!
from Soundwalk 2008
This foam Tower of Babel took little pieces of anything said to it and recombined them into new words. In the absence of external speech to draw on, it would just keep talking with whatever it had heard before, calling out new combinations of possible (but maybe nonexistent) English words to itself.
This was an argumentative hat rack that recognized words and talked back in collaged speech - similar to those automated telephone systems that bug everyone a lot. But most people ended up using it kind of like a magic 8-ball.
What it looked like:
We did a phoneme-to-color mapping that allowed people to automatically "paint" these almost abstract expressionist things just with their voices. Based loosely on the Silent Way approach to second-language instruction.