Sanas, a Palo Alto-based startup, has introduced to the world an AI intending to make foreign call center employees sound accent-neutral and white.
Sanas is a startup that provides “accent translation” for call center employees, a task that is usually outsourced to cheaper foreign markets like the Philippines and India. Sanas, which three Stanford graduates founded, offers real-time accent translation services to make it easy for call center employees to be understood by people. It has already bagged over $30 million in venture capital funding.
The software removes the accent and replaces the voice with something robotic akin to a standard American English accent. Sanas believes this will enab call center employees to regain their voice’s power, according to its website.
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However, customer racism is likely to increase if workers are further dehumanized when an app is placed between worker and customer, especially since the app will no doubt make errors, said employees.
Sanas’ president Sarim stressed that workers would have a choice about whether or not to use the AI’s accent translation. However, those familiar with the exploitation within the foreign call center industry believe that the workers won’t have much choice if the tech proves successful.