No matter, it’s Alexa, Bixby, Siri, or Cortana, all these virtual assistants have one thing common – their default voice. Even though stereotyping based on gender is always reinforced using women voice in technology owing to the sweetness of feminine voice, a creative agency challenged the status quo.
Virtu is a creative agency that published a voice for Google voice assistant and another device a genderless sound n and named it “Q.” The project has been completed with the help of Equal AI, thirtysoundsgood, and Koalition Interactive to bring something out of the box.
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According to the Q website, various companies across the world are continuously using feministic voice to allure customers. They do so in order to fit in common scenarios of augmented comfort. On the other hand, a male’s voice is usually firm and authoritative. Therefore, it can’t be used in service-oriented devices such as Siri and Alexa.
In order to eliminate gender bias in technology devices, Virtue worked in collaboration with a famous linguist Anna Jørgensen. She is presently working as a researcher at the University of Copenhagen.
They successfully recorded more than five people and then used software to keep voice range between145-175 Hz. It is done to ensure gender neutral. However, they further refined the recorded voice by surveying more than 4600 individuals to scale the sound between 1-5 points. Here 1 indicates a male’s voice while 5 indicates the female’s voice.
Virtue encourages the people to use voice Q and share it over the Amazon, Microsoft, and other such platforms to shun gender biasedness.
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