Voice is going to become the chief way that we make our wants known to computers – and when they respond, they will do so with female voices.
This detail may seem trivial, but it goes to the heart of the way in which the spread of digital technologies can amplify and extend social prejudice.*rolls eyes*
In these instances, the technology adapts to pre-existing stereotypes, and so helps to perpetuate them. This will become increasingly important as children learn from their own interactions with a voice assistant.
But this gendering is not inevitable.In some markets, Britain among them, Google offers a male voice for its assistant, though Alexa and Siri are always female.Wait, what..? *checks iPhone*
Yup. My Siri is male.
Good old Guardian, no sense of irony as usual with their witterings: "...pre-existing stereotypes and so helps to perpetuate them."
This sums up the Guardian's raison d'etre and its attitudes fairly well!
"Yup. My Siri is male."
Have you asked your Siti how xe identfies, or have you just made an asssupmtion based on stereotyping?
And what about HAL 9000?
We had this discussion months ago when someone, probably in the Grauniad, was claiming that Alexa having a female voice was depicting women as being subservient. As you point out here, most talking computers give you a choice. My satnav is set on the female voice but how does that make it subservient? She is always bossing me around.
Can you have it set to Danny La Rue? Problem solved!
It's jealousy. The Guardian is staffed by robots, who robotically regurgitate their articles every week, changing only the subject matter, ansd they don't like these new automatons who are cleverer than them.
In the 1960s the Americans had a supersonic nuclear bomber, the Convair B58 Hustler. Warning messages were given using the recorded voice of a woman (presumably using a tape recorder!). It seems that the voice known as "Sexy Sally" was that of Joan Elms, in her 60s at the time.
Personally, if anyone was telling me I was just about to get a SAM up the tailpipe, and the nukes onboard will detonate, I don't think my first thoughts would have been "How appalingly sexist!"
Military aircraft makers have put a lot of thought into what voices will get the pilot's attention best when he's dealing with loads of things at once. IIRC some US Navy aircraft use the voices of the pilot's children for low fuel warnings.
"Good old Guardian, no sense of irony as usual ..."
They are an institution. Or perhaps, should be in one.
"Have you asked your Siti how xe identfies, or have you just made an asssupmtion based on stereotyping?"
"And what about HAL 9000?"
The male robot voices are always the bad guys!
"My satnav is set on the female voice but how does that make it subservient? She is always bossing me around."
As CJ Nerd points out, there's a good reason for that!
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