The world’s first AI voice that has no gender has reportedly been created.
Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa are women’s voices by default. You can change the voice setting to be men, but like most personal assistants, the options are binary. But Q, a genderless personal assistant is designed to fix this oversight.
“Based on what we know about some other technologies that are communication mediums, we do understand that social representation—or mission of social representation in media— is important in influencing social values,” social scientist Julie Carpenter told Fast Company.
The creators of Q at Virtue Nordic sampled several real voices from non-binary people. They them digitally combined the samples and created a voice that ranges between 145 Hz and 175 Hz, which falls between normative male and female vocal ranges.
Research has shown that men and women report women’s voices as more “welcoming” and “understanding” than men’s voices, but the companies developing the voice assistants only tested men’s and women’s voices.
“The dream is that it’s implemented as a third option for Siri and Alexa,” the creators of Q explained. “We’re inviting the tech firm to collaborate with us. There’s no price tag on Q.”