Change the voice for Siri – You can change the Siri voice (not available for all languages).
- Go to Settings > Siri & Search.
- Tap Siri Voice, then choose a different variety or voice.
- 1 How do I make Siri sound like Yoda?
- 2 Can I change Siri’s name and voice?
- 3 Why is Siri a male voice now?
- 4 Can you give Siri a nickname?
- 5 What is the Hey Siri cheat code?
- 6 Who is behind Siri voice?
- 7 Can I make Siri sound like Darth Vader?
- 8 Can you get celebrity voices for Siri?
- 9 Can I rename Siri to Jarvis?
- 10 What does Siri stand for?
- 11 Why does my Siri voice sound different?
How do I make Siri sound like Yoda?
Change the voice for Siri – You can change the Siri voice (not available for all languages).
- Go to Settings > Siri & Search.
- Tap Siri Voice, then choose a different variety or voice.
Can I change Siri’s name and voice?
Can You Change Siri’s Name? No, But Here’s What You Can Do If you’re an avid user of Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri, you may have wondered if you can change her name to something else. Unfortunately, the short answer is no, you cannot change Siri’s name. However, there are some things you can do to personalize your experience and make Siri feel more like your own. Siri’s name is an integral part of her personality, and Apple has made it impossible to change it. The name “Siri” was actually derived from the Norwegian feminine name “Sigrid,” which means “beautiful victory.” The name was chosen because it’s easy to say and pronounce in different languages, and it sounds friendly and approachable. But even though you can’t change Siri’s name, there are ways to make the experience feel more personal. For example, you can teach Siri how to pronounce your name correctly. Just ask Siri to “pronounce my name,” and then say your name out loud. You can also add nicknames to your contacts, which Siri will recognize and use when you ask her to call or message that person. Another way to customize your Siri experience is by changing her voice. Apple offers multiple voices and accents, including American, Australian, British, Indian, Irish, and South African. To change Siri’s voice, go to Settings > Siri & Search > Siri Voice and select your preferred voice. You can also tweak Siri’s settings to make her more or less responsive. For example, you can turn off the “Hey Siri” wake word on your iPhone or iPad, which means that Siri will only activate when you press and hold the Home or Side button. Alternatively, you can turn on “Hey Siri” for hands-free use. Overall, while you can’t change Siri’s name, there are plenty of ways to personalize your experience and make it feel unique to you. Whether it’s teaching Siri how to say your name correctly, changing her accent, or adjusting her responsiveness, there are plenty of ways to make Siri feel like your own personal assistant. And who knows, maybe one day Apple will offer the option to change her name, but until then, embrace the “beautiful victory” that is Siri. : Can You Change Siri’s Name? No, But Here’s What You Can Do
Why is Siri a male voice now?
How to change Siri’s voice Image: Apple Siri sounds great. It’s one of the more natural-sounding virtual assistants, and she’s full of personality, too. She? Is Siri a “she?” Not really! Siri actually has no gender (if you don’t believe us, just ask it). Siri had a default female voice for many years, but you had the option to change it to a male voice instead.
- You can even give Siri six different accents: American, Australian, British, Indian, Irish, or South American.
- If you’re using Siri in non-English language, your choices will probably differ).
- In, Apple is changing the Siri voice options to promote diversity.
- There are now two additional American English voices, and they’re just labeled Voice 1-4 instead of Male and Female.
In addition, Siri will no longer default to a Female choice, but will instead prompt you to pick one of the Siri voice options during setup. Updated 03/31/21: Apple is adding new Siri voices and a change to the default behavior in iOS 14.5. This article has been updated to reflect that. You can change the way Siri sounds at any time. IDG You can also go to the Siri menu by asking Siri to change its voice. Siri will tell you it can’t do that, but will provide a button to hop right to the appropriate Settings menu. Note that the Siri menu also contains a Language selection, which allows Siri to speak and listen in a different language.
- If you change your language, you’ll have to re-train “Hey Siri” in order for it to work.
- It can be useful for those with a strong accent to check out this menu.
- If you’ve got an Irish brogue, you will want to make sure Siri’s language is set to English (Ireland), for example.
- That’s different from selecting the Irish “variety” in the Siri Voice menu.
Now that the Mac has Siri, you can of course change its voice there, too.1. Open System Preferences.2. Click Siri,3. Use the Siri Voice drop-down menu to select a voice, or the Language menu to select a language. You can change Siri’s voice on your Mac, too.
What is Siri’s real name?
Even if you’re not familiar with the name Susan Bennett, you’d likely recognize her voice. As the original Siri, Bennett became a dependable presence in many iPhone users’ lives, responding to various inquiries and fulfilling spoken commands. Her voice work has also been helpful to smartphone users with disabilities, she says.
- But make no mistake – Bennett herself is not a techie.
- I’m terrible with tech,” she tells me over a Zoom call from her home in Atlanta.
- It’s not intuitive for me at all.” Apart from her iPhone and Mac, which she uses for voice recordings, Bennett says her interactions with anything tech-related are minimal.
That’s why it came as such a shock when she found out in late 2011 that her voice was being used for Apple’s new Siri virtual assistant. “A fellow voice actor emailed me and said, ‘Hey, we’re playing around with this new iPhone, Isn’t this you?’ and I went on the Apple site and listened and went, ‘Oh, wow.
Well, what does this mean?'” It meant her voice would become a central part of people’s digital lives, doing everything from providing answers to search inquiries to sharing weather forecasts and giving directions. From Siri’s release in October 2011 up until 2013, Bennett’s voice was used for the assistant, until Apple replaced her with new voice actors.
(For the record, Bennett never used Siri when it was her voice, saying, “It was just too creepy,” but she does use the virtual assistant now.) Siri has been especially helpful to iPhone users with disabilities, Bennett notes. After revealing herself as the voice of the virtual assistant in 2013, she says she got tons of mail from people who were blind or had other disabilities saying they used Siri all the time.
“That was really their connection to be able to get on board the tech train as we all are now,” Bennett says. “That was one of the things that I was kind of proud of about Siri is that she can help people do things that they couldn’t normally do on their own.” Now Bennett appears in an ad for web accessibility company UserWay, which works to ensure sites are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines,
Nearly a quarter of US adults have some type of disability, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but tech companies haven’t always kept these users in mind when designing products and services. In fact, a whopping 98% of US websites aren’t fully accessible, according to a report by web accessibility company AccessiBe. Watch this: Tech accessibility is lagging. Here’s why that needs to change 08:26 Apple, for instance, rolled out a screen-reading technology called VoiceOver on the iPhone 3GS in 2009, which helps blind users navigate their device. The company also launched a People Detection feature last year, which lets blind and low-vision iPhone and iPad users know how close someone is to them.
Microsoft broke ground in 2018 when it launched the Xbox Adaptive Controller, a $100 device designed to help gamers of all abilities play. Last week, the company unveiled its Surface Adaptive Kit for improving laptop accessibility, which includes a variety of textured decals to identify keys, ports and cables.
And Google rolled out a handful of new accessibility features for Android users, including the ability to control your phone and communicate using facial gestures, Bennett relates the importance of digital accessibility to her own work. “Many times, I send people to my website; if they’re thinking about hiring me, I’ll say there are demos on my website,” she says.
Does Siri have a gender neutral voice?
The last time the English language for Siri received new voices was in iOS 14.5, and there was one new male and one new female selection, bringing the total to four available options. In the iOS 15.4 update, there’s a fifth one, and it may work better as a gender-neutral middle ground between the low-pitched male voices and high-pitched female ones.
Don’t Miss: All 112 New Emoji Characters for Your iPhone in iOS 15.4
To hear and use the new voice on your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings –> Siri & Search –> Siri Voice. Then, ensure “American” is selected under Variety and “Voice 5” below the Voice header. If you haven’t upgraded to iOS 15.4 yet, which was released on March 14, 2022, you can listen to the new voice in the video below. The name of Siri’s new gender-neutral voice is “Quinn,” which developer Steve Mosser discovered in the code of iOS 15.4 beta. Voice names are not shown in the iOS interface itself, only on the voice filenames themselves. According to TechCrunch, Quinn is “a name with Irish origins, a well-known gender-neutral name that has been used over the years for both boys and girls.” Keep Your Connection Secure Without a Monthly Bill, Get a lifetime subscription to VPN Unlimited for all your devices with a one-time purchase from the new Gadget Hacks Shop, and watch Hulu or Netflix without regional restrictions, increase security when browsing on public networks, and more. Buy Now (80% off) > Other worthwhile deals to check out:
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How do I make Siri have an attitude?
Download Article Tips and tricks to upset Siri Download Article Sometimes, it’s fun to get a rise out of the Apple personal assistant Siri. Asking Siri frustrating questions or insulting her can result in Siri becoming confused, upset, or angry. This can a great way to pass time if you’re in need of a good laugh.
- 1 Tell Siri you dislike her voice. Siri sometimes becomes upset when insulted. If you want to upset Siri, comment on her voice. Say something like, “Siri, I don’t like your voice.” Then, wait for the generated response.
- Responses will vary. Siri may sometimes give a calm or apologetic response, but if you ask again she sometimes responds with a long answer explaining the algorithms responsible for her voice. At the end of the rant, she will say, “Sorry about that. I was upset.”
- 2 Say “You’re making me angry.” If you tell Siri she’s making you angry, she will reply with a range of responses. She may say, “Don’t squeeze me like that.” Try asking the phrase a few times to explore the range of responses.
- Siri may not always respond by getting upset. She may sometimes say something somewhat sarcastic, such as, “I wonder what that’s like, being mad.”
- 3 Say “I’m naked.” Siri gets upset if users say things that she reads as inappropriate. One of the best ways to get a rise out of Siri is to say, “Siri, I’m naked.” She will respond by calling out the inappropriate nature of the sentence, saying things like, “That’s both inappropriate and irrelevant.”
- 4 Yell something rude at Siri. Siri may become upset if you simply yell something rude at her. You can say things like, “You’re so useless!” or “I hate you.” or “Horrible. Your help is horrible.” Siri will usually respond with an apology or may say things like, “I’m just trying to help.” Arguing and insulting Siri can be a fun way to upset her and get a range of fun responses.
- 5 Ask who the best assistant is. Siri may be insulted if you ask her who the best assistant is. Siri may sometimes come up with a response that sounds upset. She may, for example, say something like, “Really?” in an insulted tone.
- 1 Propose to Siri. Siri gets uncomfortable if users seem to be getting too attached. For a fun response that will make Siri squirm, say, “Will you marry me?” Siri will quickly act uncomfortable and shut you down, saying phrases like, “Why don’t we just be friends?” and “You should know you’re not the only one who’s asked.”
- 2 Ask Siri if she loves you. Siri will become uncomfortable if users declare their love for her. Say something like, “Siri, I love you” or “Siri, do you love me?” Siri often responds by abruptly changing the subject, saying phrases like, “Look. a puppy!”
- However, Siri does not respond by getting upset every time. Sometimes she says things like, “I respect you” in return.
- 3 Ask Siri if she has a boyfriend. Asking about Siri’s love life can sometimes make her squirm. One of Siri’s funnier responses to the question involves her implying a lengthy breakup in bitter terms. However, Siri has many different responses to the question. You may have to ask the question a few times to get the upset version of the answer.
- 4 Ask Siri if she’s ever fallen in love. Siri does not always seem overtly upset when you ask if she’s ever been in love, but she provides a variety of fun responses. A good way to get a laugh is to ask Siri, “Have you ever been in love?” She says things like, “I’ve never fallen in love, but I have fallen off a desk.”
- 1 Ask Siri the woodchuck question. Siri sometimes responds with confusion to the classic tongue twister, “How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck would?” She may respond in confusion or offer a funny response in return, like “I imagine groundhogs would prefer a different question for a change.”
- 2 Ask about movies. Siri becomes upset sometimes if you ask about movies that feature artificial intelligence. She will sometimes respond in a humorous matter if you ask about films like Her and Blade Runner. You can also ask about movies that are simply confusing.
- If you ask what Inception is about, for example, Siri responds with, “Inception is about dreaming about dreaming about dreaming about something or other I fell asleep.”
- If you ask about Her, Siri often responds by emphasizing it’s just a movie.
Add New Question
- Question What happens if you tell Siri that you like Cortana better? 🌻 Summer 🌻 Community Answer Well, they just say something like, “Got it.” They treat it like any other preference.
- Question What would happen if you say “Where is Elvis?: four times at 3:00 am? Not much, probably the same old “I didn’t understand that” response. Plus, most people would be asleep at 3:00am, so if you have a someone sleeping in the room, don’t do it as she is very loud.
- Question Will Siri ever react with my emojis? If you type with Siri (which you probably do if your are going to try it) then there are no emoji options.
Ask a Question 200 characters left Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Submit Advertisement Thanks for submitting a tip for review! Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 170,769 times.
Can you give Siri a nickname?
Can I Change “Hey Siri” to Sometime Else? – Again, the answer is no. You cannot change Siri’s name, but there are several other ways you can customize Siri to make the voice assistant personal to you.
What is the Hey Siri cheat code?
4. GenesJournal – Not much of a secret, as it lists the Konami Code right there on the page, but heading to this site will unlock a “hidden” 1976 interview with Stark Trek legend William Shatner. The Konami code sequence is: Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A. Getty Images
Who is behind Siri voice?
Siri – In June 2005, the software company ScanSoft was looking for someone to be the voice for a database project involving speech construction. They inquired with GM Voices and selected Bennett, who happened to be present when the scheduled voice-over artist was absent.
She worked in a home recording booth in July 2005, more than four hours each day, reading phrases and sentences. The recordings were then concatenated into the various words, sentences, and paragraphs used in the Siri voice. Bennett became aware she was the voice of Siri when a friend emailed her about it in October 2011.
Apple has never acknowledged or confirmed its use of Bennett, but audio-forensics experts hired by CNN expressed 100% certainty that Bennett was the voice of Siri.
Can I make Siri sound like Darth Vader?
No, you can’t make Siri sound like Morgan Freeman, Darth Vader, or Snoop Dogg.
Can I make Siri sound like Batman?
The LEGO Batman Movie, released last Friday, features the voice of Apple’s personal assistant Siri as Batman’s personal computer. Batman’s computer works in much the same way as Siri, responding to his voice requests whenever he says “Hey ‘puter.” As it turns out, there’s a secret tie-in hidden in the iPhone, too. Apple updates Siri on a regular basis, and this isn’t the first time the personal assistant has gained humorous responses ahead of an upcoming event, but it may be the first serious movie tie-in. Siri was previously updated in August 2016 to offer funny responses to questions about Pokémon Go, and again in September to respond to questions ahead of the iPhone 7’s debut.
Can you get celebrity voices for Siri?
1. Celebrity Voice Changer Parody – Do you know any Siri voice changer that can make you sound like a celebrity? If you want to do so, then ‘Celebrity Voice Changer Parody’ is a great option. You can instantly sound like your favorite celebrity by just speaking on the mic.
The voice changer has a huge list of celebrities, and you can speak in English and return, get the celebrity voice. Are you ready to know the best thing about this Siri voice changer? It promises to maintain the quality of your voice. It does not change the speed, pitch, or tone of your voice. With this, you can sound natural and normal yet like a celebrity.
Like Siri lets you sound like male or female, you can also sound like your favorite male or female celebrity. You only need a strong internet connection to use this Siri voice changer.
Can I rename Siri to Jarvis?
Can you Change Siri’s Name: The name “Siri” means “beautiful woman who leads you to victory.” But you might be let down if you wish to give Siri a different name. Sadly, Apple forbids you from doing this. However, there are a ton of other customization options for Siri that you might not be aware of. No, is the response. Siri’s name cannot, sadly, be changed to Jarvis or anything else. Apple created Siri and has not permitted tweaks to enable you to change the name of the personal assistant,
What does Siri stand for?
Curious about the etymological origins of the iPhone 4S virtual assistant’s handle? Look to Norway – It may be a household name now, but the first time Steve Jobs heard the word “Siri,” he wasn’t sold. That’s according to Dag Kittalaus, the Norwegian cocreator of the iPhone 4S’ famed virtual assistant, who offered new details this week on how the technology was named, and how it seduced the late Apple founder.
- Today, 87 percent of iPhone 4S owners say they use Siri each month,
- But how did the increasingly famous digital assistant end up with her unique name? Read on: Who came up with the name? Kittalaus did.
- As he revealed at a startup conference in Chicago this week, he planned to name his daughter Siri after a former coworker (in Norwegian, Siri means “beautiful woman who leads you to victory”) and even registered the domain Siri.com.
Then he and his wife had a son, and the website was shelved. But when Kittalaus was ready to launch his splashy speech recognition technology, he resurrected Siri. “Consumer companies need to focus on the fact that the name is easy to spell easy to say,” he said.
How did Apple get involved? Siri, Inc. was incorporated in 2007, and the technology was launched as an IOS app available in the Apple Store in early 2010; plans were in the works to make the software available for the Blackberry and Android phones. Things changed when Kittalaus, then the start-ups’s CEO, received a call three weeks later from Steve Jobs.
Then what happened? The Apple CEO flew Kittalaus to his home in Cupertino, CA, where the two had a three-hour chat in front of Jobs’ fireplace about the the future of technology. “And, you know, he talked about why Apple was going to win, and we talked about how Siri was doing,” said Kittalaus,
- He felt that we cracked it.” Apple went on to purchase Siri for $200 million in April 2010, ending plans to make it available for rival operating systems.
- There was one problem, however — Jobs wasn’t fond of the name.
- Why didn’t Jobs change the name? Kittalaus, who worked for Apple until October 2011, tried to convince the notoriously hardheaded Jobs that Siri was a great name.
But in the end, the company stuck with the name for a more straightforward reason: No one could dream up anything better. ( According to Wikipedia, the name is now also used as shorthand for “Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface.”) “Jobs was similarly on the fence about the names ‘iMac’ and ‘iPod,’ but failed to find a better option,” says Leslie Horn at PC World, blocked
What accents are available for Siri?
Apple’s Siri comes with a range of different voices that you can choose from, you can change which voice you would like to use on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and also on the Apple Watch. There are a total of six different voices to choose from for Siri in the UK, American, Australian, British, Indian, Irish, and South African.
Why does my Siri voice sound different?
Siri’s voice sounds weird on iOS 15.1 Page content loaded Hey Gordito_de_punk, It appears that Siri’s voice is muffled and robotic when Siri is speaking.This started after updating your iPhone to iOS 15.1, and we’re glad to provide assistance. – A restart for issues like this can help.
Please see if it does if you haven’t already. – If restarting didn’t help, select a different voice for Siri and see how that sounds. If it’s fine, try the one you were previously using. Let us know how that goes. All the best. Same thing is happening to me apple reps wanting me to service my phone or factory reset it for no reason even though my internals is fine it’s just this update literally messed up my Siri now she sounds like she being drowned underwater but when I switch Siri voices it literally sounds fine but when I go and use any different voice it just sounds distorted which I’m pretty annoyed about hopefully the fix this issue fast because it seems so annoying now I hope this helps someone reading this You can change siris voice n the settings Hello.
So I’ve done everything. I’ve done a factory reset, I’ve changed the voice I normally use American Voice 2 and put on American voice 4 and it still sounded really bad, so I was curious and selected British Voice 2 and that one sounded straight up like a robot.
- Like I’ll say it happens 70% of the time using maps.
- And asking Siri to send a message.
- It just really unpleasant and makes me not want to use her at all if that makes sense.
- Really hope for an update soon! Thanks for trying those steps and getting back to us Gordito_de_punk.
- It’s appreciated.
- Since you’ve reset your iPhone back to factory settings and the issue persists, we recommend contacting Apple Support to look into this with you further: – Type “Siri” in the Search topics field, and choose “Siri and Dictation issues” from the results to reach them.
Thanks for using Apple Support Communities! Mine sounds muffled or almost sounds like my phone got wet and the speakers are messed up. Turning off low power mode fixed the voice. However since the battery drain on my iPhone 11 Pro is so extreme, I am almost always in low power mode.
Please update this apple! Oh no my iPhone 11 started doing that just now. Grrrr! Did yours fix itself yet? It sounds like she’s dying. A drowning muffled robot. I have AirPods and she sounds like she’s broken the same as she does on my phone. All my other apps work incl. music and video/movies on both my AirPods and iPhone.
Ugh! Same thing happened to me after IOS15. Messed around with it and discovered that it only happed when my phone was on low power mode. Turned low power mode off and it was fine again. Hope this helps. Yeah, my Siri is doing the exact same thing. Not only that but with my new update, my phone will not even connect to my car to play music at all anymore.
- The Apple service rep just told me to call my car manufacturer, reset my phone and forget the device in the car.
- Obviously none of those things worked because it was just the janky update that screwed all of these things up.
- The Siri voice sounds horrible, my phone will not connect to my car anymore via bluetooth, and Maps looks awful.
Horrible update in my opinion. I literally just tried this and it worked. Its crazy that they somehow changed the settings of Siri so that she sounds worse when you are trying to save battery life🤨. My music app will not connect to my car after this new update so now I feel like I’m being forced to buy a dongle🤮.
Why has Siri’s voice changed?
Siri’s random voice change Looks like no one’s replied in a while. To start the conversation again, simply So I am running my iPhone 8 on iOS 14.4.2, and for some reason, when I just randomly used Hey Siri, the voice changed randomly from the new, more natural voice to the old voice that sounded like it was computer generated.
Siri’s Voice: American (Female)Language: English (United States)Device: iPhone 8
iOS Version: 14.4.2 iPhone 8, iOS 14 Posted on May 2, 2021 8:34 PM Hi, Sometimes the Siri voice needs to be “re-loaded” to the device. Try to select a different voice, then change it back to the one you want. You may also need to restart your device:, Cheers, Jack Posted on May 2, 2021 8:36 PM Page content loaded Hi, Sometimes the Siri voice needs to be “re-loaded” to the device. Try to select a different voice, then change it back to the one you want. You may also need to restart your device:, Cheers, Jack Siri’s random voice change : Siri’s random voice change
Can Siri understand different accents?
Hey Siri—Why Don’t You Understand More People Like Me? Timo Lenzen Fight disinformation: for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters. Every evening last summer, after I’d shut down my work laptop, my 3-year-old daughter and I would approach our Google Home smart speaker and yell, “Hey Google, can you play from the movie Simmba ?” We’d hold our breaths and wait for a response.
- The digital assistant would then repeat the name of the Bollywood song we’d requested in its default standard American accent.
- We’d rejoice and dance when the assistant played the right number, which happened about half the time.
- My daughter was going to a Bollywood dance class and we’d finally found a use for the device that my husband had won at a tech conference.
Often, however, it would mishear our requests and play something else. My daughter and I would look at each other and chuckle, like the only people in the room who got a joke. We’d roll our eyes and bond over our assistant’s incompetence. These moments turned out to be funny and special, and secretly, I enjoyed the role reversal of having an assistant who sounded like a stereotypical American.
- When would that happen in real life? Yet several days into our routine, I noticed something strange.
- My daughter and I were contorting our mouths to pronounce the names of Bollywood songs with an American accent.
- I don’t know if our exaggerated Midwestern accents improved Google Home’s hit rate or if we were doing it unconsciously so we felt like we were being understood.
Either way, the gadget that had entered our house as a helper had turned into an intruder. Not just an intruder that could listen to our private conversations, but an intruder that was telling us how we should speak our own language in our own home. I’d been wrong about our reversed power dynamic.
My hunch was confirmed when I spoke with, an assistant professor of technical communication and information design at Towson University who studies user accessibility and design for voice recognition systems such as Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple’s Siri. “Your daughter is being disciplined by Google Home.
You are being disciplined,” she told me. This artificial intelligence–powered machine, she explained, either understands users’ accents based on its programming or it doesn’t. If it misunderstands something, it just assumes it knows what it’s hearing and powers through its mistake.
- It’s essentially a one-way feedback loop where humans must change their behavior to make the machine run more smoothly.
- If I am going to use this technology then I must assimilate.
- I must code-switch,” Lawrence said.
- I find there is something inherently violent about that, because it is no different than the kind of language discipline that we faced when we were colonized.” Like most postcolonial English speakers, I float in an in-between land of languages.
I speak four Indian languages and I speak English fluently. Yet my accent and dialect are seen not as marks of erudition or class like British accents, but as punchlines that reinforce stereotypes. (Think from The Simpsons,) None of the assistants offer any regional or ethnic American accents or African American Vernacular English.
Lawrence’s own experiences being misinterpreted because of her Trinidadian accent inspired her to study how voice recognition systems embed “accent bias.” Linguistic studies have found that nonnative English speakers and people who don’t have standard American accents, particularly immigrants from non-European countries, are penalized in the job and housing markets because they are perceived to be less intelligent and less competent.
Vice President how people would assume that her mom, who had a PhD in nutrition and endocrinology, was unintelligent because of her Indian accent. Switching your personal digital assistant’s accent won’t affect its ability to understand yours. But it will tell you more about who it thinks it’s talking to.
- The most popular services—Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana—can speak in a range of languages, dialects, and accents, with notable exceptions.
- Alexa has only one version of a standard American accent.
- Siri has American, British, Irish, Indian, Australian, and South African accents.
Google Assistant speaks with one of eight color-coded American-accented presets as well as “British Racing Green” and “Sydney Harbour Blue.” None of the assistants, however, offer any regional or ethnic American accents or African American Vernacular English, a dialect with its own accent and unique grammatical features.
- Google Home, however, does have a limited-time “cameo” voice appearance by comedian (who was preceded by ).
- Alexa features,
- But these celebrity voices aren’t really about functionality—Jackson can offer his opinion on snakes but isn’t programmed to help you with your shopping.
- An associate professor at the University of Alabama’s school of communication who studies voice assistants, told me that the virtual Jackson and Rae are further examples of technology companies using Black voices to entertain white consumers while ignoring Black consumers.
A recent study by computer scientists and linguists at Stanford University found that all the major speech recognition systems who speak African American Vernacular English at almost twice the rate of their white counterparts. Google told me that fairness is one of its “core AI principles” and that the company seeks to make its digital assistants accessible to as many people as possible.
- From day one, we’ve strived to build an inclusive product that can be helpful for all users and equally serve them,” Beth Tsai, the director of Google Assistant policy, told me.
- Much as it doesn’t specify the gender of its assistants’ voices, Google seeks to make its default American voice raceless.
“Labeling a voice—even if it’s recorded by a Black actor—as a ‘Black voice’ defines what a Black voice sounds likeSimilar to gender, voices for people of different races are really diverse. We’d be doing a disservice and be leaning into stereotypes if we applied those labels,” Tsai said.
Amazon told me something similar. “Alexa’s understanding of different languages, dialects, and accents is of the utmost importance to Amazon and our customers,” said a spokesperson for Amazon. “Alexa has been designed to work well for everyone, and our speech recognition models work with many different dialects and variations in speech.
We continuously improve our models in order to accurately recognize variations in speech.” Even as the tech companies boast that their voice recognition products are accessible to a wide range of users, they add that the technology is still difficult to develop, which partly explains why they haven’t introduced more accent options.
Even as they say African Americans are an important consumer market, some in Silicon Valley argue that market dynamics dictate which accent and language options are available. These arguments aren’t entirely convincing. All four digital assistants offer Italian, which is spoken as a first language by 63 million people.
(Siri even comes in Finnish, which has about 5 million native speakers.) Yet only a couple assistants offer Swahili, Telugu, and Marathi—languages with nearly 100 million speakers each. It’s nothing new for companies to exclude consumers of color, says, an associate professor of information studies at UCLA and the author of, an investigation into how search engines reinforce racial biases.
- For years, consumers of color have heard that “they are not a market that matters the way high-end luxury, middle-class, and affluent consumers matter,” she says.
- The whole history of advertising in the United States has been about prioritizing people who don’t have accents, as if there is some type of neutral space of language, which of course we know is absurd.” “If I am going to use this technology then I must assimilate.
I must code-switch. I find there is something inherently violent about that.” Another likely explanation for the digital assistants’ limitations is that they reflect their creators’ blind spots. An analysis that I did for of 177 large US technology companies found that in 2016, 73 percent of their executives and senior managers were white, 21 percent were Asian (including South Asian), 3 percent were Latino, and 1.4 percent were Black.
(In December, a prominent Black AI ethics researcher after she co-wrote a draft paper about the risks of text recognition systems reinforcing racial and gender biases.) However, both Noble and Sweeney think it may be a good thing that voice recognition devices aren’t trained to recognize many accents of marginalized groups, effectively stymieing the devices’ primary function, which is collecting users’ personal data.
Sweeney tells her students to throw away their smart speakers, and Noble refuses to buckle under pressure from her 9-year-old to buy one. When we use these technologies, she said, “we teach our kids that our voice isn’t the normative voice, that they have to be something else in order to engage, in order to participate, in order to find themselves.” Lawrence notes that when voice recognition technology misinterprets people of color, it’s not simply inconvenient but sometimes harmful.
A into “aggression detectors” that are being installed in schools found that they incorrectly identified kids’ voices as aggressive even when they were saying completely innocuous things. On the other hand, she noted, if Black people don’t use digital assistants, they will continue to be overlooked and misunderstood by tech companies, which will keep baking biases into their algorithms.
“For how long will we be spared not being recognized? In my mind, it’s a no-win situation,” Lawrence said. Within my home, I found a small, twisted way to win. I was excited to learn that Google Home has a setting called English (Indian), which speaks Indian-accented English.
I also selected the Hindi language option, though I quickly became frustrated because it only understood a formal Hindi that is totally unlike the version we speak at home. For the first time in my life, I had to look up the Hindi word for “movie.” The English–Indian assistant didn’t understand me any better than the default setting, but at least it didn’t make me feel like I had to imitate an American accent.
Talking to someone—or something—that sounded like us did improve our experience, even if it didn’t completely reflect our multilingual reality. I noticed that my daughter wasn’t code-switching her English anymore. And every so often, we’d google phrases to speak in pure Hindi with our assistant.
- And we’d look at each other and laugh at how abnormal our nonconversational Hindi sounded.
- It was clear that we didn’t have a perfect substitute for the polished product aimed at “American” speakers.
- When my daughter would ask the American-accented assistant to tell her a story, it would regale her with fairy tales like “Cinderella” or “Hansel and Gretel.” Yet when she asked the Hindi assistant for a story, it revealed a hole in its programming—not a serious functional issue, but a revealing sign of the lack of imagination that had gone into it.
It replied, “Once upon a time there was a king and once upon a time there was a queen. They both slept and that’s the end of the story.” : Hey Siri—Why Don’t You Understand More People Like Me?