Barking orders at a digital device that responds in a woman's voice can reinforce sexist stereotypes, according to academics and creatives who launched the first gender-neutral artificial intelligence voice on Monday.
Responding to such concerns, a Denmark-based team has created a voice nicknamed Q that was presented at the South by Southwest (SXSW) creative festival in Texas and is designed to be perceived as neither male or female.
"There is no reason that a voice has to be gendered," said Julie Carpenter, a research fellow in the ethics and emerging sciences group at California State Polytechnic University, who advised the project Q team.
"Emerging technology is being designed to rely on these ancient stereotypes."
Leading digital assistants such as Apple's Siri, the Amazon Alexa and Microsoft's Cortana are generally presented as female, Carpenter told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Read more via Thomson Reuters Foundation