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Apple's Siri gets new voices and will no longer have a female voice by default

By Kenny Yeo - on 1 Apr 2021, 9:15am

Apple's Siri gets new voices and will no longer have a female voice by default

(Image source: @omidarmin / Unsplash)

Apple has just dropped the sixth beta of iOS 14.5 and it includes some big changes to Siri.

Firstly, Siri will no default to a female voice. Instead, users will now have to pick their preferred Siri voice during setup.

To be clear, in some countries and languages, a male voice is the default. But this change means now everyone gets to pick based on their preference.

It's a positive and much welcomed move as studies have found that using a female-sounding voice by default can reinforce gender bias and negative stereotypes.

In response to these changes, Apple said:

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. 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.

Additionally, Apple is also introducing two completely new voice. These new voice will be available to English speakers globally.

You can check out the new voices in the tweet below:

What's also interesting to note is that Apple is not labelling these voice as male or female. Instead, they are just "voice" and a number. This could potentially open the door to non-binary voices.

Source: Techcrunch, Daring Fireball

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