The pursuit of the right to speech with AI
By Disha Ganguli  |  Sep 22, 2022
The pursuit of the right to speech with AI
Image courtesy of and under license from Shutterstock.com
In today’s society, many people are unable to make their voices heard, either because of repression, social issues, or physical disabilities. AI, however, holds the potential to change this situation for the better.

KOLKATA - 

A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.

- Sundar Pichai

As much as the above quote stands true, perfectly inclusive spaces with unbarred diversity remain elusive. As society progresses, humanity’s efforts should be directed towards achieving this goal. Unfortunately, however, this is often easier said than done, given that limitations to the inclusion of diverse voices are not only social issues, but are also due to the physical limitations of the speakers.

This article seeks to explore such limitations to the ‘right to speech.’ However, before doing so, one should first delve a bit deeper into its etymological significance and history.


Looking at the etymology and history

The term ‘speech’ is an ancient one that emerged in Athens during the 5th or 6th century BCE. It was a product of a democratic ideology that gifted liberty to the citizens to voice their thoughts without fear, censorship, or harmful retaliation. To make improvements of this practice of speaking one’s voice without fear, the concept of citizen journalism, where citizens can get their opinions published, came to the fore.

While all these measures to ensure the maximum utilization of the ‘right to speech’ are still in practice in many parts of the world, there are still some loopholes.

The right to speech is inclusive of every being who falls under the category of Homo sapiens. While the ‘right to speech’ mandates inclusivity, all too often it seems like it is confined only to those who are privileged enough to have all their intellectual faculties.


Including the voiceless: still a myth 

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