A NEW genderless voice has been designed for smart assistants that sounds like nothing you’ve heard before.
Listen to Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa and it is has a female voice while other robotic devices have an option of a man or woman.
Now scientists have designed a third way.
The voice, called Q, was created by researchers from Virtue Nordics and Copenhagen Pride.
Currently robotic voices are designed to feed a particular style that people are perceived to favour.
The genderless voice was developed by recording five voices that didn’t fit in with a typical male or female sound.
Then voice modulation software was used to move it into a gender neutral range.
Almost 5,000 people were asked if the new voice sounded more male or female in the next stage of the process.
Based on the replies, further adjustments were made before coming up with the perfect Q.
The idea behind Q is to improve inclusivity in voice technology.
Scientists say that a female voice is used as a robotic assistance to reinforce stereotypes that women are helpful, nurturing and caring.
Julie Carpenter, a Q researcher, said: “Q adds to a global discussion about who is designing gendered technology, why those choices are made, and how people feed into expectations about things like trustworthiness, intelligence, and reliability of a technology.
“Q is a step forward in true innovation because it forces a critical examination of these belief systems.”