Empirical Analysis of Bias in Voice-based Personal Assistants

Lima, Lanna; Furtado, Vasco; Furtado, Elizabeth; Almeida, Virgilio

Voice-based assistants are becoming increasingly widespread all over the world. However, the performance of these assistants in the interaction with users of languages and accents of developing countries is not clear yet. Eventual bias against specific language or accent of different groups of people in developing countries is maybe a factor to increase the digital gap in these countries. Our research aims at analysing the presence of bias in the interaction via audio. We carried out experiments to verify the quality of the recognition of phrases spoken by different groups of people. We evaluated the behaviour of Google Assistant and Siri for groups of people formed according to gender and regions that have different accents. Preliminary results indicate that accent and mispronunciation due to regional differences are not being properly considered by the assistants we have analyzed.