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Alexa, Siri, Cortana: The Problem With All-Female Digital Assistants

Why we are stuck with Female Digital Assistants in form of Siri, Alexa and Cortana?

Just a few years ago we were doing all things on our own. But advent of the digital assistants like Google Assistant, Cortana and Siri has simply changed the way we make of the smartphone in today’s time. People tend to make use of the digital assistants on daily basis to get around with nominal to complex tasks with ease and simplicity. One is quite uniform among all the digital assistant i.e. they all have female voice. It is widely believed that men and women alike prefers the female voices but the time has come for us to get the male voice options as well.

Why tech firms use female voice for AI?

The Female Digital Assistants voice in the phones, speakers, TVs, smartphones and even in refrigerators raises the question: ‘why we are using female voice?’ Tech industry is extremely dominated by the male and it is fact that women are often associated with filling up the secretarial positions. A number of academic studies have suggested that women warm up with a female voiced android or software easily than the male voice. It can be easily stated that we are carrying forward the primitive norms from our work, culture, and tradition to right in the technical future by making use of the female voice for getting through our little tasks.

Ever wonder why robots need a gender

If we look at the history then in the early 90’s tech firms made use of androgynous character and their gender were never revealed to the users. This resulted in a number of awkward situations and tech firms decided to away with such things completely for some time. Secondly the brains behind the development of the technology or the robot never cared about specifying the gender to their product but it was the users who did it.

Furthermore during the development process of any new technology or android researchers tend to refer such things as ‘it’ while the users prefers using the term ‘he’ or ‘she’ while referring to it. An example can help in illustrating this point where the Google has simply gives the name Digital Assistants to its AI but the distinctively feminine voice of the AI has led to people referring to it as she.

Scarcity of Gender neutral voice

It has also been found people are less likely to accept a genderless voice and even more disturbing thing is that getting ‘genderless voice’ is extremely hard. Naunce Communications has made a name for itself by providing voices to the companies for their speech interfaces and Digital Assistants. They provide this for large variety of products which includes the cars, TVs, smartphone and a number of other products better left unsaid.

Quite interestingly they also doesn’t have any stock for gender neutral voice which means we have to stick with the feminine voice for AI or digital assistants in future. Or in case some tech firm makes a bold move and brings ludicrous male voice to its AI for a change.

Tags : AlexaCortanaSiriTechnology News
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