Genderless Voice Assistant: Q
The advertising agency Virtue Nordic collaborated with the Copenhagen Pride and drew attention to the technology dimension of the business by developing a digital voice called Q for those who prefer to give a genderless voice to the voice assistants.
By default, female voice is accessible for voice assistants such as Google Assistant, Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana. Users can select the male voice if they want. Amazon’s Alexa doesn’t have that option yet. Julie Carpenter, a researcher at the State University of California, who advises Virtue Nordic and the mission of Copenhagen Pride, claims that the voice gender preferences alternate according to the users’ intended use. According to Carpenter, some customers opt for the voice of female with a prejudice that they are more supportive or more willing to help in the artificial intelligence assistant. Some select the male voice, which is more professional and reliable, according to them. These preferences surely mirror the sexist patterns in the minds.
According to Julie Carpenter, Q is aiming to question who is designing gender in technology. What these selections are primarily based on; it additionally discusses how a technology primarily based on cultural prejudices will meet expectations about intelligence and credibility.
According to Carpenter, Q, an essential step in actual innovation, encourages people to look critically at these cultural prejudices and belief systems. Developers of the Q, worked with a team of 22 transgender people recording human voices that did now not match with the classification of men or women. Then, with the use of sound modulation software, they moved the records to a gender-neutral range. The sound samples had been examined with over than 4,600 people. The participants were asked to determine whether the voice they would hear used to be male or female. The researchers continued to edit sounds digitally primarily based on the participants’ solutions till they could create a totally genderless sound. The team hopes to be able to structure a framework for artificial intelligence with Q, so that genderless sound can be used in digital assistant technologies.