Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
The two new voices use source talent recordings that are then run through Apple’s Neural text to the speech engine. Pixabay

With an aim to eliminate gender bias, Apple is adding two new voices to Siri’s English offerings besides removing the default “female voice” selection in the latest beta version of iOS.The latest update will allow iPhone and iPad users to choose their preferred Siri voice during device setup.

According to a TechCrunch report, this is a positive step forward as it allows people to choose the voice that they prefer without the default bias coming into play.”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,” Apple said in a statement on Wednesday.


“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,” it added. In 2019, a report by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) revealed that assigning female genders to virtual assistants reinforced negative gender biases. The report found that by using a female voice for AI-powered assistants, gender stereotypes were being perpetuated.

Follow NewsGram on LinkedIn to know what’s happening around the world.

“Companies like Apple and Amazon, staffed by overwhelmingly male engineering teams, have built AI systems that cause their feminized digital assistants to greet verbal abuse with catch-me-if-you-can flirtation,” the report stated.

“Because the speech of most voice assistants is female, it sends a signal that women are … docile and eager-to-please helpers, available at the touch of a button or with a blunt voice command like ‘hey’ or ‘OK’,” it added.


A report found that by using a female voice for AI-powered assistants, gender stereotypes were being perpetuated. Pixabay

ALSO READ: Apple Brings News Updates to Its Voice Assistant Siri

The two new voices also bring some much-needed variety to the voices of Siri. The two new voices use source talent recordings that are then run through Apple’s Neural text to the speech engine. The new voices are available to English-speaking users around the world and Siri users can select a personal preference of voice in 16 languages. More diversity in voice, tone, and regional dialect can only be a positive development for how inclusive smart devices feel, the report said. (IANS/JC)


Popular

As per the man, his wife had developed an illicit relationship with a man, living nearby their house. | Unsplash

High drama was witnessed in Kanpur Dehat for over an hour when a man, upset over his wife's alleged affair with a local man, climbed the tower with his children and threatened to commit suicide. The incident took place on Monday near Gandhi Nagar in Akbarpur, when the man threatened to commit suicide after throwing his kids down from a height of nearly 40-feet. Chaos prevailed around the area and the locals informed the police that rushed to the spot.

After about half-an-hour of convincing, the police managed to bring him and his children down. The man told the police that his wife's affair was going on with his neighbor. He had complained to the police, but no action was taken. Police said that as per the man, his wife had developed an illicit relationship with a man, living nearby their house. "As per the man, in his absence, his neighbor visited his house often. He said that he had reprimanded his neighbor many times, but to no avail," said the police.

Keep Reading Show less
File

The US forces continued their bombardment of buildings and institutions in Syria's northeastern Hasakah province.

The US forces continued their bombardment of buildings and institutions in Syria's northeastern Hasakah province, as part of their alleged manhunt of Islamic State (IS) fugitives, state news agency SANA reported. The US forces are shelling buildings and public institutions on Tuesday in the vicinity of the Sina'a prison in the Gweiran neighborhood in Hasakah "on the pretext of hunting down IS militants who fled the prison," said SANA.

Syria The Syrian Foreign Ministry has slammed the US airstrikes as civilian casualties have been reported. | Wikimedia Commons

Keep Reading Show less

Multiple avian influenza outbreaks have occurred in India, the UK, the Netherlands and Israel. | Unsplash

The circulating avian influenza outbreaks, including in India, do not seem to pose the 'high' risk but surveillance and biosecurity measures are necessary to reduce spillover risk between poultry and wild birds, a UN-backed scientific task force said. Throughout the past autumn and current winter in the northern hemisphere, multiple avian influenza outbreaks, caused predominantly by the H5N1 HPAI virus, plus other subtypes, including H5N8, have occurred in India, the UK, the Netherlands and Israel with the ever recorded mortality of the Svalbard barnacle geese in Solway Coast.

Also Read : Avian Influenza is Heat liable and gets killed when subjected to heat

Keep reading... Show less