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Apple — Highlighting Commitment To 'Diversity' — Says Siri Will No Longer Default To Female Voice

Apple — Highlighting Commitment To 'Diversity' — Says Siri Will No Longer Default To Female Voice

Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) is broadening the choice of Siri’s voices by adding two more and will eliminate female voice as the default option, TechCrunch reported Wednesday.
What Happened: The Tim Cook-led company is making these changes to the latest version of iOS and will now allow every user setting up Siri to choose a voice of their liking by themselves, according to TechCrunch.

The beta is reportedly already live and available to testers. Apple said the move was made to encourage diversity.

“This is a continuation of Apple’s long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion, and products and services that are designed to better reflect the diversity of the world we live in,” said a statement from the Cupertino, California-based tech giant, as per TechCrunch.

The new voices are available to users in English-speaking countries. Personal preference for voice selection is available in 16 languages.

Why It Matters: The newly introduced voices utilize Apple’s Neural text-to-speech engine which makes them flow more organically.

The beta also updates Siri voices in Ireland, Russia, and Italy to Neural TTS. The tally of voices using the latest technology has reportedly risen to 38.

Siri handles 25 billion requests per month on 500 million devices in 21 languages in 36 countries.

In December, Siri gained the ability to quack like a duck or roar like a lion. The virtual assistant can also make sounds of vehicles and instruments. 

While Apple is allowing users to select a default voice for Siri, it won’t let them choose a default music service quite as yet.

Price Action: Apple shares closed nearly 1.9% higher at $122.15 on Wednesday and gained 0.25% in the after-hours session. 

For news coverage in Italian or Spanish, check out Benzinga Italia and Benzinga España.


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