Wikipedia announces Voice Intro Project to preserve voices of famous personalities

Wikipedia has long been touted as the encyclopaedia for generations to come. The crowd-sourced encyclopaedia contains articles on nearly everything in the world and is now planning to expand this feature. Wikipedia has announced that it intends to store audio clips on the biography pages of select famous people to preserve one more aspect of their lives.


So, years from now, when you may be reading about famous personalities on their Wikipedia pages, you will also be able to hear what they sounded like. The project is being called the Wikipedia Voice Intro Project or WikiVIP and was launched along with television presenter, actor and author, Stephen Fry.


According to Wikipedia, the project asks people who are subjects of articles on the websites to make short recordings of their voices. The recordings could be as short as 10 seconds or so and are then uploaded to the articles. This solves purposes like letting people know how they sound and even how to pronounce their names. Other contributors to the WikiVIP project include lunar astronaut Charlie Duke and the Baron Knight of Weymouth.


The project will also see BBC team up with Wikipedia. For the sake of preservation, BBC will provide short voice clips from some of its programming. This seems like a really good move since it could help Wikipedia users get access to voices of luminaries, celebrities and personalities who are no more, for purposes of art or critique. It has already extracted voices of Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Wikipedia has also urged users to ask people who have their own page on the website to send in voice samples in any language they wish to. You can listen in to all the voice recordings made on the WikiVIP project so far on Wikimedia Commons or on the appropriate Wikipedia articles.

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