How Technology Is Going To Destroy Regional British Accents

Soon we'll all be talking like American robots, says report

You only have to hear a Geordie say "pet" or a Scot utter "wee" to understand the charm of the UK's regional dialects.

Unfortunately that might be under threat according to a new report which predicts that regional accents will die out over the next 50 years due to a rise in voice controlled technology.

The research, funded by HSBC, predicts that keyboard use will diminish over time and be replaced by voice automation. This will cause accents to conform to a more general dialect, toning down the chirpy tones of the likes of Brummies and Liverpudlians. 

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The research also suggested the English language will become more and more American:

"With so many innovations in computing come from California, laid-back American English will be increasingly prominent. The research expects increased use of Americanisms, tech-inspired words and spoken abbreviations such as LOL."

To publish the report HSBC commissioned Dominic Watt, a sociolinguistics expert, lecturer in forensic speech at the University of York and dialect coach to actors including Brad Pitt and Robert DeNiro. 

Most Popular

He commented that: "Keyboards will have become obsolete and we will become completely comfortable speaking to our cars, washing machines, fridges, taxi apps and online banking services."

"A preference for informal, chatty and jokey language in the technological and scientific domains is a recent phenomenon," he added, "but it's one which makes these areas seem more accessible and less po-faced, and we are likely to see more and more of it."

Still, good news for the middle classes at least. When we all sound like identical artificial robots, there'll be no one taking the piss out of the fact your accent changes all the time.