Apple eliminates gender bias, introduces two new voices to its virtual assistant Siri

With an intention to get rid of gender bias, Apple is including two new voices to Siri’s English choices moreover eradicating the default “female voice” choice within the newest beta model of iOS.

The newest replace will enable iPhone and iPad customers to select their most well-liked Siri voice throughout machine setup. 

According to a TechCrunch report, this can be a optimistic step ahead because it permits folks to select the voice that they like with out the defaults bias coming into play.

“We’re excited to introduce two new Siri voices for English speakers and the option for Siri users to select the voice they want when they set up their device,” Apple stated in a press release on Wednesday (March 31).

“This is a continuation of Apple’s long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion, and products and services that are designed to better reflect the diversity of the world we live in,” it added.

In 2019, a report by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) revealed that assigning feminine genders to virtual assistants bolstered unfavourable gender biases.

The report discovered that through the use of a feminine voice for AI-powered assistants, gender stereotypes have been being perpetuated.

“Companies like Apple and Amazon, staffed by overwhelmingly male engineering teams, have built AI systems that cause their feminized digital assistants to greet verbal abuse with catch-me-if-you-can flirtation,” the report said. 

“Because the speech of most voice assistants is female, it sends a signal that women are … docile and eager-to-please helpers, available at the touch of a button or with a blunt voice command like ‘hey’ or ‘OK’,” it added.

The two new voices additionally convey some much-needed selection to the voices of Siri.

The two new voices use supply expertise recordings which can be then run by means of Apple’s Neural textual content to the speech engine. The new voices can be found to English-speaking customers world wide and Siri customers can choose a private desire of voice in 16 languages.

More variety in voice, tone and regional dialect can solely be a optimistic growth for a way inclusive good gadgets really feel, the report stated. 

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