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Google thinks it was not sexist to give its voice assistant a woman voice


Previous year, a study by the United Nations Training, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) argued that voice assistants like Google’s perpetuate “harmful gender bias” and indicates gals ought to be there to guide rather than be assisted. But it turns out Google always wished to use a male voice, but they did not for the reason that feminine voices are apparently simpler to perform with. 

Talking to Enterprise Insider, Google’s products supervisor, Brant Ward, said: “At the time, the assistance was the know-how executed superior for a female voice. The TTS [text-to-speech] programs in the early times form of echoed [early systems] and just turned additional tuned to female voices.”

According to Ward, bigger pitch in woman voices were being much more intelligible in early TTS programs for the reason that they had a more confined frequency response and English voices that did not occur from a human ended up simpler to comprehend if they took on woman characteristics.

No matter of the listener’s gender, several scientific studies located that people usually like to listen to a male voice when it will come to authority, but like a feminine voice when they will need assistance, even further perpetuating the stereotype that gals need to be subservient. 

Why likely the ‘easy’ way isn’t usually the suitable way

There’s been venture immediately after task explaining the repercussions of acquiring a female voice assistant. The UNESCO report “I’d blush if I could,” (titled following Siri’s reaction to: “You’re a bitch”) notes how voice assistants frequently react to verbal sexual harassment in an “obliging and keen to please” method.