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V.19 No.27 | 7/8/2010

Tech

Robo Voices and GPS Girls

In last week's New York Times Style section, there was an article that explored our inherent attraction to the GPS voice, a connection that takes our relationship with machines to a whole new level. According to the article, we were originally supposed to take directions from men. But car companies switched the GPS to a female voice since they rated higher in friendliness and were more likely to be comforting to a lost traveler. Indeed, drivers all over the world have responded to "American Jill," "Australian Karen" and "Español Paulina." Though these faceless ladies have inspired their fair share of lascivious blog posts, Australian Karen, through her website www.thegpsgirl.com, has been praised for her role as a marriage counselor. As quoted in the Times, her soothing voice "takes the focus off blaming one person or another." Australian Karen (aka Karen Jacobsen) has proven she is more than just a pretty voice. A songwriter and inspirational speaker, she has recorded seven albums and helps people find their "inner-GPS" with her goal-setting workshops. Her next album is due out in the fall. The title track? “Take A Little Drive.”


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