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What Does This Robot Voice Say?

The internet has something new to argue about. Is this voice saying "Yanny" or "Laurel"? The more you listen to it, the more you might be unsure. Supposedly, younger people tend to hear Yanny while older people tend to hear Laurel. The pitch is completely different, and I hear both at the same time. Which one you hear may also depend on your device and the volume. Scientists are trying to explain why people hear different things.

Raul Veiga, CEO of production company Radial Producoes, said it's an example of the McGurk Effect — when you hear something different from the actual sound because of visual stimulus.

"’s actually a very poor quality recording and the brain gets influenced by what you read first, before you actually hear it. What gets people confused is that it’s not Yanny or Laurel, it’s more of a YAREL thing," he said.

The device you're using to listen it on can also have an effect.

"Different speakers or headphones can have drastically different frequency response profiles (for instance, laptop speakers have limited low frequency response), which will lead to either name being more emphasized to a listener," Poppy Crum, chief scientist at Dolby Laboratories, said in a statement.

The different words people hear is making this the "what color is this dress" controversy of 2018. What are you hearing? -via Buzzfeed

Update: The original source for the recording is at the Dictionary. Yes, it's the pronunciation for "laurel." The New York Times has a tool for turning the distortion up and down so you can her both words.

What word do you hear?

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