HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Why is Alexa female?

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 03:57 PM

Why is Alexa female? [View all]

Last edited Mon Feb 12, 2018, 04:33 PM - Edit history (3)

I don't have one, but a visiting family member did. And everyone was calling this round box "she" and "her."

Why did the company not make a male robot? Why did it have to give it any gender at all?

This isn't France. We don't assign genders to objects in English. So why make the exception here? And if we were going to, why don't they sell both Alex's and Alexa's? Or give it a gender neutral name, like Taylor or Morgan?

Someone pointed out that this started with Siri. To western ears, the name Siri doesn't sound female or male, but the designers chose to give it a female voice. Why not a male version?

ON UPDATE: I just found this piece from October:

https://www.fastcompany.com/40476927/youve-got-male-google-finally-realizes-that-voice-assistants-dont-have-to-be-female

You’ve got male: Google finally realizes that voice assistants don’t have to be female

In a world full of aggravations, one of the more subtly frustrating grievances is that every single smart device has a female digital assistant. Apple has Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana is voiced by a woman, and Alexa skews female, too. Google’s Assistant defaults to a woman’s voice as well, but they have just (finally) added a male version. According to Android Police, Google has gifted the robotic voice with the genderless title of “Voice II,” because gender is a construct and anyone or any gender or no gender can order your groceries from Walmart. To switch to the new voice, select settings on your phone Assistant or the Google Home app and then find your preferred voice option in preferences, under “assistant voice.”

Apple added the ability for Siri to use a male voice with the iOS 7 update. To activate, simply go to General Settings, find Siri’s settings, and then tap the option for Voice Gender. Or ask Siri if it’s a man or a woman and it will give you the option to change. Cortana can change, too, if you dig into the settings, and Alexa is available as a male, but currently only for English speakers.

As for why the assistants all default to female, according to two studies recently cited by The Wall Street Journal, men and women prefer a female voice assistant because they believe it’s more welcoming and understanding. It probably helps that they only have to pay them 80 cents for every dollar they pay the male one.

141 replies, 4163 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 141 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why is Alexa female? [View all]
pnwmom Feb 2018 OP
greymattermom Feb 2018 #1
pnwmom Feb 2018 #2
spanone Feb 2018 #24
TheBlackAdder Feb 2018 #38
3catwoman3 Feb 2018 #3
NCTraveler Feb 2018 #14
3catwoman3 Feb 2018 #21
NCTraveler Feb 2018 #25
bathroommonkey76 Feb 2018 #50
spanone Feb 2018 #26
Lilyhoney Feb 2018 #81
NewJeffCT Feb 2018 #4
Hassin Bin Sober Feb 2018 #113
NewJeffCT Feb 2018 #119
zipplewrath Feb 2018 #5
Leghorn21 Feb 2018 #10
Ohiya Feb 2018 #34
Blue_Adept Feb 2018 #23
Hassin Bin Sober Feb 2018 #114
NCTraveler Feb 2018 #6
LastLiberal in PalmSprings Feb 2018 #7
The Velveteen Ocelot Feb 2018 #8
pnwmom Feb 2018 #12
The Velveteen Ocelot Feb 2018 #55
pnwmom Feb 2018 #59
The Velveteen Ocelot Feb 2018 #71
pnwmom Feb 2018 #83
The Velveteen Ocelot Feb 2018 #94
Hassin Bin Sober Feb 2018 #118
crazycatlady Feb 2018 #9
BannonsLiver Feb 2018 #13
bluecollar2 Feb 2018 #11
Dem_4_Life Feb 2018 #116
Binkie The Clown Feb 2018 #15
LanternWaste Feb 2018 #16
Beartracks Feb 2018 #103
unc70 Feb 2018 #17
eShirl Feb 2018 #18
Sailor65x1 Feb 2018 #19
oasis Feb 2018 #67
Dem_4_Life Feb 2018 #115
politicaljunkie41910 Feb 2018 #122
Sailor65x1 Feb 2018 #133
PatentlyDemocratic Feb 2018 #20
pnwmom Feb 2018 #22
Blue_Adept Feb 2018 #27
pnwmom Feb 2018 #32
Blue_Adept Feb 2018 #37
pnwmom Feb 2018 #39
Blue_Adept Feb 2018 #44
pnwmom Feb 2018 #47
Blue_Adept Feb 2018 #52
pnwmom Feb 2018 #64
LanternWaste Feb 2018 #76
pnwmom Feb 2018 #82
AtheistCrusader Feb 2018 #137
pnwmom Feb 2018 #138
AtheistCrusader Feb 2018 #139
pnwmom Feb 2018 #140
AtheistCrusader Feb 2018 #141
leftstreet Feb 2018 #29
applegrove Feb 2018 #28
writerJT Feb 2018 #40
applegrove Feb 2018 #45
FSogol Feb 2018 #78
tblue37 Feb 2018 #99
Kaleva Feb 2018 #30
pnwmom Feb 2018 #33
LanternWaste Feb 2018 #41
LonePirate Feb 2018 #31
pnwmom Feb 2018 #35
LanternWaste Feb 2018 #48
pnwmom Feb 2018 #54
LanternWaste Feb 2018 #61
Orangepeel Feb 2018 #73
LanternWaste Feb 2018 #74
Orangepeel Feb 2018 #77
Hassin Bin Sober Feb 2018 #117
writerJT Feb 2018 #36
John Fante Feb 2018 #60
leftstreet Feb 2018 #80
underpants Feb 2018 #42
pnwmom Feb 2018 #46
LanternWaste Feb 2018 #72
underpants Feb 2018 #43
Iggo Feb 2018 #49
Blue_Adept Feb 2018 #53
Iggo Feb 2018 #57
Blue_Adept Feb 2018 #63
Iggo Feb 2018 #65
underpants Feb 2018 #68
Tommy_Carcetti Feb 2018 #51
Greybnk48 Feb 2018 #56
NurseJackie Feb 2018 #58
MineralMan Feb 2018 #62
Blue_true Feb 2018 #66
Blue_Adept Feb 2018 #69
John Fante Feb 2018 #70
treestar Feb 2018 #75
MrsCoffee Feb 2018 #79
doc03 Feb 2018 #84
vercetti2021 Feb 2018 #85
crazylikafox Feb 2018 #91
vercetti2021 Feb 2018 #92
EX500rider Feb 2018 #86
cagefreesoylentgreen Feb 2018 #87
missingthebigdog Feb 2018 #102
ehrnst Feb 2018 #88
John Fante Feb 2018 #98
ehrnst Feb 2018 #109
John Fante Feb 2018 #120
Gidney N Cloyd Feb 2018 #89
X_Digger Feb 2018 #90
crazylikafox Feb 2018 #93
crazylikafox Feb 2018 #95
Orangepeel Feb 2018 #96
Bucky Feb 2018 #97
GulfCoast66 Feb 2018 #100
Lotusflower70 Feb 2018 #101
FuzzyRabbit Feb 2018 #104
Stinky The Clown Feb 2018 #105
nini Feb 2018 #106
pnwmom Feb 2018 #107
AtheistCrusader Feb 2018 #112
pnwmom Feb 2018 #134
AtheistCrusader Feb 2018 #135
lindysalsagal Feb 2018 #108
trotsky Feb 2018 #110
Cuthbert Allgood Feb 2018 #111
melm00se Feb 2018 #121
progressoid Feb 2018 #123
LineLineReply .
Hassin Bin Sober Feb 2018 #125
progressoid Feb 2018 #129
Revanchist Feb 2018 #124
lapfog_1 Feb 2018 #126
Ferrets are Cool Feb 2018 #127
CrispyQ Feb 2018 #128
melm00se Feb 2018 #130
CrispyQ Feb 2018 #132
tonyt53 Feb 2018 #131
Hekate Feb 2018 #136