Updates to the Apple TV remote, Siri, and the iPhone battery life management are on the way.
Moreover, listings for the voices are now simply numbered, rather than being described as male or female in gender.
What sort of absurd political correctness lists this as an improvement?
Now I can’t tell without listening to it whether it’s going to be a male or female voice. This is not an improvement in any sense of the word. It simply makes selection less efficient for those of us that know we want to have a male or female voice. For what? So we can all keep pretending like the main distinguishing factor between people doesn’t exist? Male and female, without which we would cease to exist as a species, is now a dirty concept that must be purged from society.
Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.
This is especially galling since the reason I clicked on the link is because I’d love to see actual Siri improvements. You know, things like being able to ask for directions to my next appointment. Things that would actually help.
But no. Instead i get political correct nonsense shoved down my throat that makes my life worse and they have the gall to publish an article proclaiming that Siri is being improved.
As a person with rather poor hearing, I approve of numbers over labels. I tend to assume that I’ll understand male voices more easily than female, but it’s not actually true–it depends a lot on the specific voice and harmonics. The lack of labels will help keep me from being too lazy to listen to all of them.
Biology is much too interesting for gender to be simple. There’s a continuum between male and female not only in humans but in most or all mammals and birds. Beyond that, such as fish and many invertebrates, it can get truly weird. Not to mention plants and fungi…
I’m with you Joseph… the PC crowd wants us to have something like 40something different genders based on something that one of my mailing lists posted from Facebook and that’s just nuts. Gender…you’re either XX or XY chromosomes and therefore are male or female…except for those individuals (fairly small in number) that have abnormalities in their genes that cause some combination of male and female characteristics.
Now…who you sleep with and whether you want to dress in clothing typically worn by the other gender and whether you want to have short/long hair and wear/not wear makeup is another thing entirely…and I don’t really have an opinion on what you should do there. We all have our preferences…I like skirts, tall heels, and makeup on women myself…and preferences should be respected but let’s not call them different genders.
To keep this actually on topic…yes, some of us prefer a male or female voice and having to listen to find out is just dumb PC BS. Bowing to the woke crowd like Tim is doing…and you know this was approved at his level…is ridiculous.
Apple could also have its programmers fixing its applications rather than making yet more emojis.
There is a difference between a programmer and a graphic designer.
After the kids have designed the emojis, the programmers have to do the mods.
Unless the code is very badly designed, adding new emojis (like any other glyph in the text processing system) should simply be a matter of adding the image file to the code base and updating a data file so it will get compiled into the emoji font.
Certain behaviors (like the ability to composite some emojis with colors in order to change skin color on the face icons) will require code, but those kinds of changes don’t happen very often.
Yeah, this isn’t really about being ‘woke’ or not. Think about it more than the surface, and you can easily see why this has been done for more obvious reasons than being PC.
In the grander scheme of things (and exactly what Apple are doing here) is this question of what defines the ‘gender’ of a voice?
Lots of women have deep voices that sound ‘masculine’ that could be taken as men, and vice-versa – lots of men have high voices that are more ‘feminine’ that could be taken as women.
Hence the point here is that defining them as simply male or female doesn’t make sense. Simply defining them as voice 1/2/3/4 makes more sense, and makes no discernible difference to a user picking one.
For example, I sometimes like one voice over another that has no connection on its apparent gender being male of female. In fact it can even be accent based (eg. Irish vs. British), or based on tone (eg. mid-range rather than deep bass or very high).
Lol… I tried South-African & NZ ones for a while, but, well… just too difficult to understand some words for my Brit ears, made them a no-no, unfortunately…
Your answer is self-contradictory. What makes a voice sound “British,” and how can you possibly label it “British” if the occasional person from India sounds more British than the occasional person from a particular part of London (Cockney)?
If you find it helpful to be able to select a voice based on such wildly variable things like what somebody from one “country” supposedly sounds like, why do you insist it is impossible for me to know whether I prefer male or female voices?
Nobody’s saying you can’t have other preferences besides male/female. You want to choose by country accent? Be my guest. The question is whether anybody is allowed by the thought police anymore to have a preference for male or female sounding voices.
My 5 year old could tell you with a high degree of accuracy from a short voice recording of somebody whether the person was male or female, regardless of what language was being spoken, what country they were from, or anything else. I highly doubt you could do the same based on somebody’s “country.”
Please don’t patronize me by telling me reality isn’t reality.
Then why not use even more descriptive terms? Maybe by range (Bass, Baritone, Tenor, Alto, Mezzo-Soprano, and Soprano)? Or by style (sweet, dulcet, honeyed, syrupy, musical, heavenly, bubbly, silky, melodious, silvery)? Or even register (Whistle, Falsetto, Modal, Vocal fry)? Or any number of other vocal/sound terminologies.
Using “male” & “female” as purely the only descriptive terms for the sound of a voice are entirely subjective rather than objective. Sure obviously male voices are typically lower, females typically higher, but that doesn’t mean they’re mutually exclusive, thus making the opposite also true. Irrespective of anyone being able to typically guess gender by their use much of the time.
As for accents. While I agree that there are many regional UK accents, just as there are in the US.
But both the US and UK accents (and other countries) chosen in these voices are likely the most typical ‘average’ accents heard in each country, hence why they’re used.* Apple have chosen generic accents for both countries for obvious reasons: they’re the most easily understandable by most average Americans/Brits, regardless of their own region or accent, and the company only have a certain amount of resources in order to bother in creating loads of regional variants to suit everybody.
*British accent voices are all ‘average’ non-regional ones. Yes, more typically heard in the SE.England, but also more generally a vanilla middle-class, something like a middle-RP (Received Pronunciation) middle being simpler rather than something higher and more clipped you’d hear the Royal family speaking these days, for example.
Personally, I pick voices purely by accent (with a preference for the Australian and Indian accents) because synthesized US voices always sound slightly off to me as a native speaker of US English. By choosing voices that sound slightly foreign to my ears, the pronunciation mistakes that the synthesized voices make are much less noticeable—they could just be part of the accent.
You don’t say! Which is precisely the way men’s and women’s voices work. And just like the average voice for a country is useful as a selection criteria to help you narrow down the choices and help you distinguish one from another without having to memorize numbers that have no meaning, so is the average male or female voice.
If you’d like, I’d be happy to link you to the objective scientific studies that detail the average difference between the tones of male and female voices.
In the meantime I won’t be gaslit by people pretending there’s no such thing as male and female. Especially not by those who claim this isn’t motivated by wokism while doing nothing but spout off inane woke talking points.
I salute you for your bravery in withstanding the assault on common decency which you must struggle against on a daily basis.