Abstract: In my work at the Opera of the Future group I build tools and experiences to explore the relationship people have with their own voice and the voices of others. Our voice is an important part of our individuality. From the voice of others, we are able to understand a wealth of non-linguistic information, such as identity, social-cultural clues and emotional state. But the relationship we have with our own voice is less obvious. We don’t hear it the same way others do, and our brain treats it differently from any other sound we hear. Yet its sonority is highly linked to our body and mind, and is deeply connected with how we are perceived by society and how we see ourselves. At the MIT Media Lab we design and create transformative experiences that merge science, art, engineering and design. I explore the use of new technologies (virtual reality, rapid prototyping, deep learning, real-time digital signal processing, lasers, wearable technologies and robotics) and HCI techniques to transform our perception of voices to better our interpersonal interactions. My previous projects range from devices that exteriorize voices, wearables sensor masks to provide interactive visualization of vocal vibration patterns for vocal training or speech disorder treatment, stuttering or prosody acquisition; bluetooth wearable haptic anchor for auditory hallucinations to help schizophrenic patients to feel external voices and easily distinguish internal hallucinatory voices; deep learning-based real-time speaker recognition system designed to be used in real-world settings and raise group intelligence or interactive web vocal application for mass musical collaboration.
Bio: Rebecca Kleinberger is a PhD candidate at the MIT Media Lab. Her work mixes science, engineering, design and art to explore ways to craft experiences for self-reflection and human connection. As part of the Opera of the Future group at the MIT Media Lab, she creates unique experiences to help people connect with themselves and with others. She accomplishes this using approaches that include virtual reality, rapid prototyping, deep learning, real-time digital signal processing, lasers, wearable technologies and robotics.