The Voice Catchers How Marketers Listen In to Exploit Your Feelings, Your Privacy, and Your Wallet Joseph Turow

Publication date:
22 Jun 2021
Yale University Press
352 pages: 235 x 156mm

The first in-depth examination of the voice intelligence industry, this timely book exposes how artificial intelligence is enabling personalized marketing and discrimination through voice analysis. Amazon and Google have numerous patents around voice profiling, and their smart speakers already extract and use your voice prints for identification and more. Customer service centers are treating you differently from other callers based on what they conclude your voice reveals about your emotions, sentiments, and personality, often in real time. According to scientists, your weight, height, age, race, and illnesses can also be determined from the sound of your voice. Ultimately not only marketers—but also politicians and governments—may use voice profiling to infer characteristics about you to serve their interests, not yours or society’s. 

Leading communications scholar Joseph Turow places the voice intelligence industry in historical perspective and offers a clarion call for regulating this rising surveillance regime.

Joseph Turow is the Robert Lewis Shayon Professor of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication. He is the author of numerous books, most recently The Aisles Have Eyes. He lives in Bala Cynwyd, PA.