Is that your voice – or is it AI?

Nan Nelson, Envision Board Member and Economic Transformation Signals Team

A new startup is using AI to make non-English call center employees, who are often located in India, Pakistan or the Philippines, sound American. Founded in 2020, Sanas now provides companies with a proprietary AI software that works in real-time to alter users’ voices to sound more “Western.” Its aim is to “improve human-to-human relationships,” but critics argue the plan is fraught with ethical and psychological implications. Some say it puts the onus on non-Westerners to cater to Western interests. Read more here.

Our state does not recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday.

This year, over half of the states in the United States will officially recognize Juneteenth as a public holiday. The recognition of Juneteenth has gained momentum in recent years, with increased public awareness following nationwide protests against racial injustice. For now, Wisconsin does not recognize Juneteenth as a holiday. Pew Research offers a short but insightful summary of state differences in recognition of Juneteenth  

Drone Technology is Improving Dramatically

Judy Nagel, Envision Board and Upward Mobility Signals Team

When you think of a drone, how high do you imagine it going, and how long do you imagine it staying in the air? Did you realize that the new “pseudo-satellite” drones can soar to heights of more than 60,000 feet and stay up there for months? That’s the report from Alistair MacDonald in The Wall Street Journal, which labeled such drones the “innovation of the week” recently.