Apple has added two new voices for its virtual assistant Siri in English. The company will also allow the user to choose a female or a male voice version of the voice assistant.
Apple brought new people to work with voices and then ran them through its neural text-to-speech engine that sounds more natural, with better intonation and smoother transitions between different words.
"We're excited to introduce two new Siri voices for English speakers and the option for Siri users to select the voice they want when they set up their device," a statement from Apple reads. "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."
Siri will be the first voice assistant that does not have a default gender – the user finally gets the opportunity to choose voices they want.
Like many other similar assistants, Siri was presented as a female. It was often the subject of discussions, and some experts noted that such a decision is sexist.
Siri now handles 25 billion requests per month on over 500 million devices and supports 21 languages in 36 countries. The newest iOS 14 beta also upgrades the Siri voices in Ireland, Russia, and Italy.