Stina Hasse

Stina Hasse is a PhD student at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen, where she is researching our relationships with machines, specifically in relation to speech synthesis and the sound of robots.

Delete, Replace & Represent: Politics of Speech Synthesis

At this seminar I will explore speech synthesis in terms of personification, representation and neutrality of the machine/software in relation to the concept of the deboned condition as described by Douglas Kahn in Noise, Water, Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts from 1999.

Below is a test of the speech synthesis used in Google Translate reading out an excerpt from the Ursonate or Sonate in Urlauten (1922-1932) by Kurt Schwitters.




This test uses the following languages that has speech synthesis on Google Translate,  March 2015

Skærmbillede 2015-03-16 kl. 19.07.33

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5 thoughts on “Stina Hasse

  1. Hi Stina, interesting project and a good outset you have in google translate – a tool that everybody can relate to of some sort. I would be interested to hear you elaborate on how you would characterize the sound of the robot contra the sound of the human. Regarding your doubts about doing “artistic research” I would encourage you to make more practical experiments e.g. into other robotic voices, because it seems there’s a lot of knowledge in this material to gain.


  2. Hi Stina,
    I think it might be interested to examine the algorithm, how logic of artificial intelligence – on how computer/code shapes the ryhthms, pronounciation of text. But i am not sure how you can get access to it, or might be google is employing other algorithm instead of developing on their own. -Winnie


  3. hi Stine,

    Interesting. With regard to your ‘neutrality’ I’m wondering about the ‘neutrality’ of using Google. Which is a corporation, or advertising agency (96% of its profit) that it draws on all the unpaid labour of people contributing (using their ‘free services) of Google Translate. People exchange with their data. Neutrality is also a larger question of the internet and how and what neutrality is.
    Second, what is ‘representation’ and ‘unrepresentation’? There’s a whole discourse about ‘non-representational’ theory by Nigel Thrift, et al. that might have some application here.
    Personally, I read so much stuff with text to speech. Ok, Apple software at the moment. But just like Google translate there are other open source variants.


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