Voice-controlled AI-powered assistants are pretty intelligent lately, but they didn’t exactly start that way. They weren’t brilliant about the way they sounded, a minimum of not within the beginning. Most of those intelligent assistants, no matter company or name, began with a female voice before finally allowing users to select from a spread of voices. The lone holdout among the main AI assistants is Alexa, but Amazon finally lets users pick a male-sounding voice eight years after the assistant debuted.
There could be scientific studies on how certain female voices may sound more pleasing to listeners of any gender. Still, there may be psychological and ethical implications in portraying those intelligent assistants as female, a minimum of by default. Although they still default to female voices, Apple Siri, Google Assistant, and even Samsung Bixby produce other voices users can choose between to suit their preferences. Since it launched in 2013, however, Amazon has kept Alexa’s predominantly female.
From time to time, though, Amazon does give Alexa other voices, often as a gimmick or time-limited marketing stunts. Amazon introduced Shaquille O’Neal’s and Melissa McCarthy’s voices to it listed just last week. It seems that Amazon silently added another non-celebrity voice option, this point a more male-sounding voice.
The Ambient discovered the new voice option alongside a replacement wake word name for Alexa. Of course, Alexa can already be configured to reply to “Computer” or “Echo” or maybe “Amazon.” Still, users can now switch to a more gender-neutral “Ziggy” name to trigger the voice assistant.
These changes, which are strangely not highly publicized, go an extended way in correcting stereotypes about these assistants and was an extended time coming. It isn’t perhaps by coincidence that Amazon continues to unofficially ask Alexa as female despite its official documentation insisting that it’s no gender in the least since it’s just an AI.