It’s been a few years now since ‘digital assistants’ appeared in our worlds. Now they are a fundamental part of our lives. From Google (Why has it no name?) through Siri and Cortana to Alexa, they exist on every platform, seeking to enrich our daily chores and make the mundane tasks simple. Do they offer laziness or efficiency? They’re not perfect, the amount of times I hear, ‘I didn’t understand’ is annoying., but they work well within limitations. I’m not even going to mention the security implications or the fact they allow big companies to analyse what we do even better than before. No, my gripe with them is below.
One thing they all have in common is a female persona. The voices are all very much alike, I guess designed to be easily listened to. Is this a sexist attitude that the manufacturers have taken? I mean, think about it, these devices are there to do our bidding and they give them a female voice. It’s as if we expect females to fulfill every menial task we give them and never complain. Surely we should have a choice of voices? I guess it may involve a lot more programming, but surely we should be demanding they do this?
So how about it Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Apple?