A report from the United Nations says that making virtual assistants like Siri have female voices by default is sexist.

As voice-powered technology reaches into communities that do not currently subscribe to Western gender stereotypes, including indigenous communities, the feminization of digital assistants may help gender biases to take hold and spread. Because Alexa, Cortana, Google Home and Siri are all female exclusively or female by default in most markets, women assume the role of digital attendant…

I think it’s a fair point.

Check It Out: UN Report Says Making Siri Voice Female by Default is Sexist

11 Comments Add a comment

  1. Paul Goodwin

    Our military uses female voices for fighter jet cockpit communication because it was shown to be more settling than the male voice.

  2. dgerzeeboy

    And what about women who prefer Siri with a female voice? Do they choose that option because they have no interest in a male voice mansplaining info? Move on.

  3. MOSiX Man

    So there is a little bit of something worth dinner table level consideration, here, but I hardly think it’s worthy of an investigation and report by professionals at the UN.

    Siri was likely made female by default because it is the kind of feature that appeals largely to tech nerds, and the majority of those ~were~ boys/men (I think a there are a lot more girls/women falling into that category, recently), who would find a female voice attractive. Now, though, Siri is likely enjoyed and utilized equally by women and men and it offers both male and female voices with several regional accents to pick from if anyone has a problem with the standard voice. If this is any kind of issue, then Apple could simply require selection of a sex and nationality for Siri when they set up a new device or install a fresh copy of iOS.

    Personally, I would love to be able to select a curmudgeonly, male, Scottish voice for Siri. Can you imagine Peter Capaldi as the voice for Siri?

  4. geoduck

    Sounds like the people who are screaming that loot boxes cause gambling addiction.
    Or the ones a few decades ago that said that violent cartoons would make all us kids hit each other with anvils.
    Or before that the ones saying that comic books would make everyone into sociopaths.
    Utterly silly.

  5. Lee Dronick

    Oh my God that is silly! If the default Siri was a male voice then some people would complain about that.

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