The latest version of Apple’s operating system, iOS 14.5, will remove female voice from Siri assistant by default and it will allow the user to choose a male voice when setting up the wizard. The update is now available for all English-speaking customers who will be able to choose the voice they like the most.
The beta version of iOS 14.5 will be released widely in late spring. Your change to male or female voice represents an Apple commitment “to diversity and inclusion”, as the company explained in a statement to TechCrunch, with the aim of “better reflecting the diversity of the world in which we live.”
Apple’s move is a big step for tech companies to try to eliminate any gender association from their digital voice assistants, often reinforcing negative stereotypes and prejudices.
Apple is also training Siri to better recognize the speech of people with disabilities such as stuttering.
As published by The Wall Street Journal, the company has incorporated more than 28,000 pieces of audio in which people with some kind of speech impairment have participated. In this way, Siri will more accurately recognize the requests made. In addition, it has incorporated the ‘Hold to speak’ function in cases of long pauses or silences so as not to confuse the voice assistant believing that the user has finished making the request.
Siri receives 25 billion requests per month on 500 million devices
The Apple voice assistant allows you to make calls and send messages without using your hands, you can also read received messages. It also sets alarms, adds reminders and, by knowing the user’s routines, anticipates their needs.
Among other functions, it suggests the music that the user wants to listen to, acts as an encyclopedia answering the user’s questions and controls home automation systems. Total, Siri accepts more than 25 billion requests per month on 500 million devices.