Almost all the virtual assistants have one thing common that all of the assistants are operated by a female voice just like Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, Cortana, and Bixby. Therefore, thinking of breaking the stereotype owner of creative agency virtue wants to challenge the trend with a genderless voice called Q.
The project is done in partnership with Copenhagen Pride, Equal AI, Koalition Interactive and thirtysoundsgood, wants technology companies to think outside the binary. Creative agency virtue worked with Anna Jørgensen who is a linguist and researcher at the University of Copenhagen to develop genderless voice Q.
“Technology companies are continuing to gender their voice technology to fit scenarios in which they believe consumers will feel most comfortable adopting and using it,” says Q’s website. “A male voice is used in more authoritative roles, such as banking and insurance apps, and a female voice in more service-oriented roles, such as Alexa and Siri.”
They have recorded the voice of five non-binary people, then used software to modulate the recordings to between 145-175 Hz, the range is defined by researchers as gender neutral. The recording was further refined after listening and surveying them from 4,600 people and asking them to define the voices on a scale from 1 (male) to 5 (female).
The project’s mission statement is:
“As society continues to break down the gender binary, recognizing those who neither identify as male nor female, the technology we create should follow.”
The creative virtue agency is also encouraging people to share genderless voice Q with Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft. But there is only one problem at the moment that Q is just voice, there is no AI framework underpinning the assistant, which means Q can’t actually understand and address your requests yet. We have to wait until the company devises a way to make it work like the Google Assistant or Siri, it would be interesting to hear a genderless voice.