Wikipedia WikiVIP project records celebrity voices for posterity

Jan 27, 2014
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The recent deaths of prominent and inspirational personalities have probably led to the awareness of the brevity of life and of people's memories. In that light, this new WikiVIP project tries to improve the growing body of knowledge in Wikipedia by injecting voice clips of these notable people for present and future generations to cherish and remember.

The "VIP" in WikiVIP stands for Voice Intro Project, though it might very well stand for Very Important Person considering it could end up as a compilation of who's who in Wikipedia. The project was conceived by Wikipedia editor Andy Mabbett and Andrew Gray as a way to take advantage of the online encyclopedia's audio features.

The goal of the project is primarily so that future generations will not only be able to read about how someone lived or see how that person looked, they will also be able to hear what they sounded like and even maybe hear some inspirational message. Of course, being Wikipedia, these audio clips will also be freely reusable under the appropriate licenses, which hopefully won't be a deterring factor for some people to let their voices be heard.

Interestingly, that indeed doesn't seem to be an obstacle for BBC. The broadcasting company has actually made available as much as 133 voice clips from its own BBC voice project collection, extracted from some of its radio programs. These include personalities like web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, Burmese politician Aung San Suu Kyi, and actor Benedict Cumberbatch.

The first to contribute his voice is noted British actor and geek Stephen Fry, known not only for his thespian skills but also for his support for an open culture. Fry and the WikiVIP members hope to make other personalities aware of this new cultural endeavor and raise their own voices to be heard by future generations.

VIA: The Next Web


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