There’s something special about Amazon’s Alexa: its voice. “To understand the forces being marshaled to pull us away from screens and push us toward voices, you have to know something about the psychology of voice. For one thing, voices create intimacy,” Judith Shulevitz writes in The Atlantic’s November cover story. As disembodied voices take on an ever-greater role in our lives, through the spread of smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and virtual assistants like Apple’s Siri, that tech-driven intimacy will be open to manipulation. (We’re talking about this issue in the forums.)
In today’s special audio briefing issue of The Masthead, Judith gets on the phone to explain the psychology of voice and why it might not be ideal to develop a relationship with a disembodied voice.
To access this story, become a member
Sign up for our brand-new membership program, The Masthead, and you’ll not only receive exclusive content you can’t find anywhere else—you’ll also help fund a sustainable future for journalism.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.