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U of T Where You Are


Boston, MA: The Buzz about Voice AI

Join fellow U of T Alumni and friends for a lecture about Voice AI

  • Dinner & Presentation
  • Q & A to follow

U of T alumni and friends are invited to attend a dinner featuring a special presentation on  

The Buzz About Voice AI


Dr. Rupal Patel (MHSc 1995, PhD 2000)
Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders and Computer Science
Northeastern University
Founder and CEO of VocaliD

AI, machine learning, deepfakes, aren’t just buzz words. They are key vocabulary in our ever changing technology landscape. Today, it’s hard to imagine a product or service without a website. And now, with the widespread adoption of smart speakers, toys, domestic robots and other connected devices, a voice user interface is becoming a must have. We aren’t just speaking with one another; more and more of our interactions are now mediated by or with devices that talk. The amount of content we generate by talking — and consume by listening — has grown exponentially in a matter of just a few years. This focus on voice as the next I/O has far reaching implications from uplifting those with disabilities and low literacy, uncovering physical and mental health cues, amplifying underheard communities, to reconnecting our fragmented social fabric. This talk will provide an overview of advances in Voice AI, highlight use cases of positive societal impact and spark a conversation about our collective, interdisciplinary responsibility to mitigate the potential for unintended consequences. 

Rupal Patel is founder and CEO of VocaliD, a voice AI company that creates custom digital voices. VocaliD’s award-winning technology empowers individuals living with speechlessness to be heard as themselves and brings applications-that-talk to life through uniquely crafted vocal persona. Rupal is currently on leave from Northeastern University where she is a tenured professor in the Khoury College of Computer Science and the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. A native of Canada, she earned her bachelor’s degree from University of Calgary, her master’s and PhD from University of Toronto and completed post-doctoral training at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Rupal was recently named a top 11 Voice AI visionary and among Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative people in Business. Her work has been featured on TED, NPR, and in leading news and technology outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Wired, Bloomberg, and BuzzFeed.

If you have any questions, please email

Note: This presentation will be preceded by an information session for prospective students interested in learning more about the University of Toronto. For more information on the session, please email Feel free to share this invitation with anyone who may be interested in this opportunity!

Dr. Patel's presentation is part of an ongoing series of compelling lectures for alumni, hosted in cities around the world. U of T Where You Are brings the University right into your community, keeping you informed, inspired and connected.

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For community safety, in-person events are currently postponed or cancelled. Explore virtual events and resources for alumni on the #StayHome hub. Are you a 2020 graduate? Start your lifelong access. Have questions? Contact us.