Hear that? It's your voice being monetised

'This call may be recorded for training and quality control purposes' is an ambiguous sentence that is being used by companies as legal cover for developing ways to tap the market potential of voice biometrics

If you've ever dialled an 800 number to ask or complain about something you bought or to make an inquiry about something you're thinking of buying, there is a decent chance you were profiled - by the arrangement of your words and the tone of your voice - without knowing it.

My research suggests many customer contact centres now approach and manage callers based on what they think the person's voice or syntax reveals about the individual's emotions, sentiments and personality, often in real time.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2021, with the headline 'Hear that? It's your voice being monetised'. Subscribe