Even if there is always criticism, for example of the less than diverse composition of the authorship: the bottom line is that Wikipedia, the gigantic online encyclopaedia, is and remains one of the most important positive examples of the collaborative and emancipatory potential of the internet. More than two decades after its founding in 2001, the Wikimedia Foundation, sponsor of the Wikipedia project, is now looking for a sound logo – with an interesting justification: Namely, the ever-increasing prevalence of virtual voice assistants, read: Alexa, Siri and co. “When a virtual voice assistant answers a question using Wikimedia knowledge, people don’t always know where the information comes from,” Wikimedia says in the call for entries: “With a sound logo, people always hear the same sound when the answers come from a Wikimedia project.” The number of active users of such voice assistants has multiplied from 544.1 million in 2015 to 2.6 billion in 2021, the foundation argues.
Creatives in the field of sound design and speech-based interfaces will be happy to hear this tribute to their profession – and the chance to shape the acoustic appearance of such a globally known non-profit brand is probably even more enticing than the prize money of 2500 USD for the winning sound clip.
“What is the sound of all human knowledge?” asks the Wikimedia Foundation in its detailed call for entries, which will be accepted until 10 October. An expert panel will then select 10 finalists, who will be put to a worldwide online vote from 29 November. The winner will finally be announced in early 2023.
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