Submissions/Have you heard? - The spoken voices of notable people

From Wikimania 2014 • London, United Kingdom

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2014.

Submission no. 2019
Title of the submission
Have you heard? - The spoken voices of notable people
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
Andy Mabbett, presenting with Michael Smethurst Zillah Watson
E-mail address
Pigsonthewing (for Andy Mabbett)
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Zillah Watson = BBC
Personal homepage or blog (Andy Mabbett)
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)
This session will describe two related, but separate projects. The "Wikipedia Voice Intro Project" (handily hashtagged as "#WikiVIP") was founded in late 2012 by Andy Mabbett to record the speaking voices of notable people, for use on their Wikipedia biographies, in any language in which they are comfortable talking. This was done for two reasons: so that we have a record for posterity of what they sound like, and to make available a canonical representation of how they pronounce their own name. Notable contributors include not only a British peer of the realm, a lunar astronaut and the actor and wit Stephen Fry, but also many who have never appeared on television or radio, and whose voices might otherwise be lost to us with time. This project led to an approach by the BBC, looking to collaborate for mutual benefit. Following the "Speakerthon" at the BBC's headquarters, Broadcasting House, in January 2014 - the first Wikimedia editathon, we think, to concentrate almost exclusively on audio media - they have donated hundreds of audio recordings from their archive of broadcast radio programmes - the first time the BBC have placed material from programmes under an open licence - and now plan to use these, and metadata drawn from Wikidata (their earlier projects having used Wikipedia URLs, with some stability issues), to develop a system for the automatic identification of the same people in other audio material (initially their archive of World Service radio programmes). This will involve the BBC writing custom software, which will be made available though open-source licensing. Andy and Zillah will describe the two projects, and the issues which have had to be overcome in order for them to be successful in their own rights and to interoperate. They will then explain planned further developments and ways in which the Wikimedia community can become involved. The presentation will end with a small challenge to attendees!
One of: WikiCulture & Community or Technology, Interface & Infrastructure or GLAM Outreach
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 (or as required)
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)

Interested attendees

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  1. MartinPoulter (talk) 15:10, 30 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  2. SarahStierch (talk) 20:10, 13 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  3. the wub "?!" 23:56, 13 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Enock4seth (talk) 11:16, 23 May 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Beko (talk) 19:24, 30 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  6. .js (talk) 03:55, 25 July 2014 (UTC)[reply]