A sound expert explains the past and future of the human voice

“Talking is just something you do, isn’t it?” asks Trevor Cox. “We take chatting for granted, and yet it’s such an important part of our lives and such a complicated thing.”

Cox is a professor of acoustic engineering at the University of Salford and an expert in the science of sound. He’s also the author of Now You’re Talking: Human Conversational from Neanderthals to Artificial Intelligence.

The Verge spoke to Cox about the history of the human voice, AI, and the strangeness of the inner voice.

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

Photo: University of Salford

To begin, can you tell me about the evolution of human language? From your book, it seems like we still don’t know exactly when or how it…

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