Megan Udinski, FISM News
The tech giant, Apple, has decided to add another voice to the Siri menu in an effort to diversify the virtual assistant.
Siri was introduced in 2011 with a default female voice. With the software update iOS 15.4, iPhone users can test out the new non-binary recording of Siri. According to Axios, Apple has confirmed that this new voice was recorded by a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
An Apple representative announced, “We’re excited to introduce a new Siri voice for English speakers, giving users more options to choose a voice that speaks to them. Millions of people around the world rely on Siri every day to help get things done, so we work to make the experience feel as personalized as possible.”
While you can find this new genderless voice for Siri under the American (voice 5) option, iOS creator Steve Moser shared on Twitter that the file is also referred to as “Quinn” to continue to represent the non-binary aspect of the voice.
iOS 15.4 Beta 4 changes 🧵: Apple adds a 5th American Siri voice with filename ‘Quinn’ pic.twitter.com/HFQZV1oF0I
— Steve Moser (@SteveMoser) February 22, 2022
Last year the company added two Siri voices to represent the black community and released a statement that those new voices were 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.”
In 2019, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization published an article in which it argues that gendered artificial intelligence “carries a risk of spreading problematic gender stereotypes and regularizing one-sided, command-based verbal exchanges with women.” They continued by claiming that “voice sexism” is a thing and that AI harassment is a possibility.
A group of linguists, researchers and sound designers created a genderless virtual assistant, similar to what Apple is rolling out, back in 2019. They hoped that a large company such as Amazon, Google, or Apple would pick up the new voice they called “Q”.
For those who were concerned that their phone or Bluetooth devices expressed gender too overtly, this will be a welcome alternative. For many of us, however, “advances” like these are yet another way that those ascribing to liberal woke ideology are trying to change the beauty of God’s creation.