Synthetic People Having a Real Conversation?
October 25, 2012 9:49 AM   Subscribe

I've created a promotional video for my website, which is currently listed as a Metafilter project called Conversus. The purpose of the video is to show how I can (with Google Translate) translate any conversation from most languages to most languages. I want to do this as part of the interview services I offer. In this video, I explain how this works by creating people using synthetic voice software, I give them names and I interview them. Since they are not real, am I being unethical if in a Twitter post, I say, "Rodney, Svetlana, Ying, Niles, Maria, Bridget, Nanette & Hassan talk about being interviewed."? I've been a journalist for a long time and ethics is kind of hard wired in, so I'm just checking a broader opinion base.
posted by CollectiveMind to Society & Culture (2 answers total)
In the non-journalism world: clearly no ethics issues at all.

In the Twitter/Site Promotion world: what, are you KIDDING???

But if you expect you might one day reenter journalism, you do need to weigh how this might affect future employers if they google you and your endeavors. But I doubt there ar many journalism operations remaining which are so stodgy as to reject someone for behaving unjournalistically while working outside journalism.
posted by Quisp Lover at 9:58 AM on October 25, 2012

If you're concerned, you can put an explanation on your page - "The interviewees in my demo are fictional characters. I created their voices by doing such-and-such ... This demo shows how I can translate an interview with you in the languages of your choice..." It is a nice little explanation of your process, and makes it clear for your readers that these aren't real people.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:20 AM on October 25, 2012

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