Web Inventor Seeks Voice-Enabled Internet in Africa
Monday, January 24, 2011
Tim Berners-Lee is best known as the father of the World Wide Web, but his latest side-project in Senegal and Mali–the World Wide Web Foundation’s VOICES project–aims to give youth and families without typical computing abilities a way to access the Internet with voice-enabled apps.
“VOICES will provide the tools, techniques, and training to make it easier to access the Web through voice. In doing so, we will explore the potential for billions of new users to access information and services from the Web,” Web Foundation CEO, Steve Bratt, tells Fast Company.
Bratt and his colleagues are still in consultation with locals in Mali and Senegal about how exactly the apps will work in accordance with local context and local needs. But generally speaking, an app might allow someone who is illiterate, for example, to call a number, choose from among medical, farming, or other menu options, and engage with data and information in a visual manner that does not require reading comprehension.