tech, Apple, iPhone, new feature, machine learning, personal voice feature
Photo credit: Phillip Stewart / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Listen To This Story
Voiced by Amazon Polly

PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to

New Apple Feature Will Be Trainable to Speak in Your Voice (Maria)

The author writes, “Apple unveiled new features this week designed for people with cognitive, vision and speech impairments. The forthcoming ‘Personal Voice’ feature was made for users who are nonspeaking or at risk of losing that ability to create a synthesized voice that sounds like them, the company said. They can use that synthesized voice to connect with loved ones, per Apple. The features are slated to be launched later this year on iPhones, iPads and Macs. … The speech accessibility feature will use on-device machine learning to create a voice that sounds like the user.”

After School Shooting, Tennessee Governor Signs Bill to Shield Gun Firms Further Against Lawsuits (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has signed off on additional protections for gun and ammunition dealers, manufacturers and sellers against lawsuits within a bill that lawmakers passed after a deadly school shooting in March. … Lee’s choice to sign the bill comes as he keeps pushing for the same Republican lawmakers, who hold supermajorities in the House and Senate, to pass a proposal that aims to keep guns away from people who could harm themselves or others.”

The Unexpected Women Blocking South Carolina’s Near-Total Abortion Ban (Dana)

From The New York Times: “When the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last summer, advocates on either side presumed that the country would divide along the bright color lines: red states completely banning abortion, blue states protecting it. That prediction failed to anticipate the Sister Senators. The Sisters, as they call themselves, are the women in the South Carolina State Senate — the only women, three Republicans, one Independent and one Democrat, in a legislature that ranks 47th among states in the proportion of women. As a block, they are refusing to allow the legislature to pass a near-total ban on abortion, despite a Republican supermajority.”

Global Executions in 2022 at Highest Rate for Five Years (Roshni)

The author writes, “The number of executions recorded globally in 2022 was the highest in five years, as several Middle Eastern states ramped up their use of the death penalty, Amnesty International says. A total of 883 people are known to have been put to death across 20 countries, marking a rise of 53% compared to 2021, according to the group’s annual review. Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt alone carried out 90% of those executions.”

The ‘Electrify Everything’ Movement’s Consumption Problem (Laura)

From The Intercept: “[Thea] Riofrancos wanted to look at multiple ways to design an electrified future and understand what the costs and impacts of different scenarios might be. So she linked up with other Climate and Community Project researchers and put together a report mapping out four potential pathways to electrification for the transportation sector. … The report concluded that even relatively small, easy-to-achieve shifts like reducing the size of cars and their batteries could deliver big returns: a 42 percent reduction in the amount of lithium needed in the U.S., even if the number of cars on the road and the frequency with which people drive stayed the same.”

Gen Z Is Apparently Baffled by Basic Technology (Al)

The author writes, “Members of Gen Z are entering the workforce with certain types of technological know-how, from navigating the depths of the internet and using apps to editing photos on their smartphones. But when it comes to using a scanner or printer — or even a file system on a computer — things become a lot more challenging to a generation that has spent much of their lives online, The Guardian reports, a counterintuitive result of workplaces still relying on technologies that were around long before they were born.”

Strange Sounds Recorded High in Earth’s Atmosphere Have Scientists Baffled (Sean)

From “A solar-powered balloon mission detected a repeating infrasound noise in the stratosphere. Scientists don’t know what is making it.”


Comments are closed.