Google: We weren't being sexist giving assistant a female voice

#artificialintelligence 

In May, the United Nations released a troubling report, arguing that female-sounding voices for AI assistants such as Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa perpetuate gender biases and encourage users to be sexist. Now, Google has come out to explain why it chose to give its Assistant a female-sounding voice -- and the search giant says it has nothing to do with gender biases and everything to do with the available technology. According to Google Assistant product manager Brant Ward, Google initially planned to launch Assistant with a male voice. The problem, he told Business Insider, was that the audio produced by text-to-speech systems was easier to understand if delivered in a higher-pitched, female-sounding voice. "At the time, the guidance was the technology performed better for a female voice," Ward said.