Stephen Fry lends his voice to Wikipedia, encourages others to do the same

The Wikipedia Voice Intro Project aims to preserve notable individuals' voices, as well as explain how their names are pronounced

Although we think of Wikipedia as a distinctly contemporary phenomenon, editors at the encyclopaedia say they are always thinking of the future.

As part of their bid to ensure that Wikipedia will provide a worthy archive for future generations they have launched the Wikipedia Voice Intro Project (WikiVIP), an initiative encouraging individuals who are the subject of articles to make a short recording of their voice.

In the future, Wikipedia wants to make sure users are not only able to read about notable figures but hear them speak as well. The audio clips will also solve the problem of informing readers how to pronounce individuals’ names, without resorting to the confusing International Phonetic Alphabet.

The new project has been given a boost by a tweet and a newly-recorded audio introduction from writer and comedian Stephen Fry.

As well as volunteered audio recordings from notable individuals Wikipedia is also working with the BBC on a similar scheme (the BBC Voice Project) to extract audio clips from BBC programmes. This would be the first time that BBC have openly licensed any content from their broadcast programs.

Wikipedia says that the BBC clips are identified by volunteers and then sent over to the broadcaster for reviewing and processing. These clips are then uploaded to Wikimedia Commons in the .flac format, a high-definition alternative to MP3s.

The roster of individuals currently sampled is eclectic in terms of both occupation and subject matter, ranging from Benedict Cumberbatch discussing an early experience with horse-riding to Aung San Suu Kyi speaking about life in Burma.

Matthew Postgate, the Controller of Research and Development at the BBC, says that the project will provide a testing-ground for the BBC algorithms used to generate "useful information such as topics or places mentioned in the programmes" .

"As these processes can also identify voice patterns, we saw a great opportunity to run a trial with Wikipedia enthusiasts, giving them access to our technology and an audio archive full of notable figures," says Postgate.

"As part of this experiment we are releasing around 500 - 1000 short voice samples of prominent public figures to Wikimedia. We hope this will allow us to identify contributions in BBC programmes from the sound of speakers’ voices and when added to relevant Wikipedia pages these voice samples add a new dimension, allowing listeners to hear the voices of the people they're reading about."

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager - OTE £60,000

    £35000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In 2014, they launched the worl...

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Design Lead

    £23958 - £29282 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the North West's leading...

    Guru Careers: Bathroom Showroom Manager / Bathroom Sales Designer

    £22 - £25k basic + Commission=OTE £35k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Bathroom Sh...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Designer / Developer

    £20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This creative agency requires a...

    Day In a Page

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones