Design Research



AI Persona Signatures


Empathetic Ai Persona Signatures

As the increasing trajectory towards virtual integration only looks to expand, the inevitability + opportunity for us to explore and co-exist in these parallel virtual spaces is only becoming more of a reality.

A relatively short history has taught us about the complexities around identity, peoples predicament with their own personification in virtual spaces. Questions of perception, society and culture. –How should I look?How do i want to be perceived? What will people think of me?

Society sadly is conditioned to hide less desirable emotion states by using non-verbal communication, suppressing the vulnerabilities that make us human, to mislead.

The reality more than often is, that these customisable personas offered to us do very little to capture or translate our truest personas and in fact, act more like disguises – costumed veils that obscure the nuances and traits that make us human.

Further more, our attempts to make these cartoon emoji’s, uncanny valley, 3d scanned photo realistic avatars embodied, is subject to repeated failure – as the disguise has already been cast.

With this all being said and done, our voice’s do offer hope and maybe a simple solution.

Voice could be the dominant sense in all future communication, both in modality + personification.

Voice is rapidly expected to be the primary mode for communication on the global stage, connecting us to billions of ai bots, sites + smart spaces – already prevalent and in use in our homes, mobility and smart devices, it’s only set for wider adoption.

Society not only appears to have accepted voice but embraced it, we do not see it as an infringement of our privacy, we participate freely, virtually with voice, ‘unfiltered’ – unlike with our modes of visual communication, which we opt to disguise, mislead.

As our voices are imbued with inflection, sentiment, emotion + personality, theycanofferasmall window to ones true feelings, our shifting moods + situational needs.

In an era of ‘irl social disconnection’, emails, messaging, video conferencing, we are losing our ability to connect with one and other, to be able to empathise in the absence of physical presence.

Voice focused communication has the ability to enhance empathetic accuracy. When we only listen to voice, our attention for subtitles in vocal tone increases. We simply focus more on the nuances we hear in the way speakers express themselves.

Michael W. Kraus. Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Yale.

Voice could offer a compelling + compassionate solution, teaching us to listen for empathy.

“People often intentionally communicate their feelings and internal states through the voice, and as such, voice-only communication allows perceivers to focus their attention on the channel of communication most active and accurate in conveying emotions to others.” – Michael W. Kraus. Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Yale.

The voice is a particularly important medium for conveying emotional state because it is relatively independent of the listener's distance from, and ability to view, the speaker (unlike face cues). add source.

Could we dial into this dominant sense, tuning our intuitive abilities to not only hear voice but connect to it, to sync with it, to feel the emotive presence of others?

The acoustic cues conveying voice emotion— consisting of pitch (fundamental frequency), loudness (intensity), rhythm (duration of segments and pauses), and timbre (distribution of spectral energy) —are modulated by physiological factors (e.g., heart rate, blood flow, muscle tension) that vary as a function of a person's emotional state. – (Banse and Scherer, 1996; Grandjean et al., 2006) check source.

Combining voice with empathetic ai in an attempt to create truer representations, fluid digital identities.

Voice responsive, ai empowered, persona signatures.

Creative Director

Mike Hughes