Voices across Birmingham

Earn up to £40 by talking!

You’ve all been connected to automated telephone systems which ask you to “press 1 for this” or “press 2 for that”…  It would be so much better if talking to a computer was like talking to another person.

Why do we want to record your speech?

To develop natural speech recognition systems we need examples of how people really talk when they use the telephone.  We want to record 200 hours of telephone conversations between people who were born and live in the Birmingham region.  We want recordings of speech which represent all of the different communities in the city.  The recordings will be stored anonymously on a computer and used by universities and companies to develop better speech recognition systems.

How does it work?

To make a call you begin by calling our freephone number.  You will be asked to enter your PIN number (see below), followed by the number of the person who you want to call.  You will be reminded to ask the person you are talking to to confirm that he or she is happy to have the conversation recorded.  Then you will be connected.  The phone call is completely free from a land line, but your mobile network may charge you to call free-phone numbers from your mobile (you should check).  All other parts of the call are completely free for land-line or mobile users.  In addition we will pay you 50p for each minute call that we record.  You can make more than one call, up to a maximum of one hour in total.  For a total of one hour of recordings we will pay you £40.  For more details of payments and conditions click here.  To find out how to make a call using the Voices across Birmingham system click here.

Do you want to volunteer?

To take part in ‘Voices Across Birmingham’ you will need to register and get a PIN number.  You can do this in two ways: