Voice assistants have become an ingrained part of our daily lives, with many people resorting to Siri before even asking Google a question. They have become a staple of smartphones, smartwatches and all things imbued with artificial intelligence.
Traditionally, the gender of the voices used for virtual assistants have greatly depended on their application. For instance, a male voice is used in more authoritative roles, like for insurance and banking apps, while female voices are generally used in service-oriented roles, like Alexa or Siri.
VIRTUE developed the gender-neutral voice, dubbed Q, by collecting voice samples from people who identify as neither male nor female, and then altering them to sound more gender neutral. This is done by setting the range of Q’s voice somewhere between 145Hz and 175Hz – a range that audio researchers define as most in tune with a genderless voice.
VIRTUE is now encouraging the public to make big tech companies like Amazon and Apple pay attention to the new gender-neutral voice option, and consider it as an addition to the current options for their voice assistants.
To hear how Q sounds, play the video below.