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Reblog from elf

elf (</a></b></a>elf) wrote2015-09-02 08:38 am 

Entry tags:<input ... >

"Assistant" means "female," right?

All four of the major "digital assistant" programs--Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and Google Now--have female voices. Google Now used to have a male British voice, but a while back, it switched to an American female, with no option to return. They want you to think of the programs as a person--and that hypothetical person is female.

Because when you're giving orders to an automaton that has no choice but to follow them to the best of its ability, it should code as female, right? Wouldn't want people thinking a baritone-voice Brooklyn accent would carry out your commands all day. Wouldn't want people giving commands to what sounds like a man who works as a California newscaster--myghods, they might get into the habit of giving orders to anyone who sounds like that!

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 2nd, 2015 10:55 pm (UTC)
I never thought of it that way. I simply prefer a woman's voice.
I even have my GPS set to a female voice because I prefer the sound of a woman's voice.

I use Siri and think of "her" as a smart woman who knows it all. I've never thought of it as anything else nor read into it. I'd rather ask a smart woman for help any day. I guess I look at it as asking for help, not giving orders either.

Have you written to Microsoft? It would be interesting to know if anyone has or if they've considered a male voice.
Sep. 3rd, 2015 01:08 am (UTC)
I have no idea. I only use waze that has a voice and that's navigation. It has a bunch of voices to choose from.
Sep. 3rd, 2015 01:08 pm (UTC)
Oh. I've never heard of that. I'll have to check it out.
Sep. 3rd, 2015 01:52 pm (UTC)
Waze is a navigation app, user generated, that the other nav apps rely on for traffic info. It will shift in real time for a traffic tie up, give warnings about various things on your route (police up ahead, vehicle stopped on shoulder, long delay due to traffic) and offer an alternate route if a traffic jam springs up suddenly ahead of you. I use it all the time, even locally, for the fastest route when I'm traveling around the city.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )