Tech Digest daily roundup: Technology changes call centre accents


A Silicon Valley start-up has developed technology that can change the accents of call centre workers in real time. The company, Sanas, has told the BBC that its technology could overcome accent-based prejudice and reduce racist abuse faced by staff. But some critics have called it a move in the wrong direction and say language diversity should be celebrated. News site SFGATE accused Sanas of making the agents, many of whom are from the global south, “sound white”. Sanas, which has reportedly received $32m in funding since June 2022, describes its technology as an accent translation tool. BBC 

A little under three months after it was first announced in China, Honor has launched its midrange Honor 70 smartphone in the UK. The phone is set to start at £480 for 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, rising to £530 for 256GB of storage. Both versions will go on general sale on September 2nd, with preorders opening tomorrow. Stay tuned for our full review next week. Compared to last year’s Honor 50, the Honor 70’s camera specs are a lot better balanced this time around. Rather than pairing an incredibly high-resolution 108-megapixel camera with three extra sensors totaling just 12-megapixels in resolution between them, the Honor 70 balances a 54-megapixel main sensor with a 50-megapixel ultrawide (which also handles macro shots) and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The Verge 

Sony is increasing the price of the PlayStation 5 by as much as 20%, the company says, in every major market save the US. The UK price of the games console, which has been plagued by supply shortages since its release in November 2020, will increase by 6% (£30), from £449.99 to £479.99. A cheaper, disc-less version of the console will get the same price rise, from £359.99 to £389.99. Australian prices are increasing from AU$749.95 to AU$799.95, and from AU$599.95 to AU$649.95, respectively. There are even larger increases in other markets. In Europe, a €50 price increase will take the console’s price up 10% to €549.99 (£467), while in Japan, a ¥10,498 price rise, more than 20%, takes the console to ¥60,478 (£373.74). Guardian 

Amazon Prime members can pick up a bunch of free PC games this month, including an Assassin’s Creed title. Following last month’s StarCraft: Remastered giveawayAmazon Prime subscribers will be able to claim Assassin’s Creed Origins as part of September’s Prime Gaming line-up. The 2017 release marked a significant change of pace for the series, reigning in its stealth gameplay in favor of more RPG elements. It set down a new formula that’s since been followed in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Playing as desert nomad Bayek, you’ll roam around Ancient Egypt on the eve of a Roman invasion. Expect the usual open-world exploration and melee combat that Assassin’s Creed is known for, as well as a character leveling system, crafting mechanics, and a whole bunch of historical Easter eggs. Tech Radar

Astronomers have discovered a nearby exoplanet that may prove to be the first such world covered in water. TOI-1452 b is an exoplanet slightly larger and more massive than Earth about 100 light years away from our planet in the Draco constellation. In a paper published Wednesday in The Astronomical Journal, researchers from the University of Montreal determine that the mass of the planet suggests it is largely made up of something less dense than rock, but denser than gas — a potential sign of a global ocean. “TOI-1452 b is one of the best candidates for an ocean planet that we have found to date,” University of Montreal astrophysics PhD student Charles Cadieux said in a statement. “Its radius and mass suggest a much lower density than what one would expect for a planet that is basically made up of metal and rock, like Earth.” Independent

Chris Price
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