Below is a summary for the article : Genderless bots are the wave of the future by The Drum

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Many of the AI-based assistants and bots we interact with every day have at least an implied gender.

According to an Amazon spokesperson, Amazon opted to make Alexa female after it “Asked a lot of customers and tested Alexa’s voice with large internal beta groups and this is the voice they chose.”

“We immersed ourselves in available research and our own studies and learned that there are benefits to both a female and male voice. However, for our objectives – building a helpful, supportive, trustworthy assistant – a female voice was the stronger choice,” the rep said.

The Subway in New York, for example, reportedly uses male voices to give orders to passengers and female voices to deliver information.

According to Jo Allison, behavioral analyst at consumer behavior insights practice Canvas8, focus groups find people associate female voices with warmth and problem solving, while male voices are more commonly seen as useful and authoritative.

Camire pointed to several women – his wife included – who have switched Siri’s voice to a man’s voice because he said they prefer the idea of bossing a man around.

That’s in part why even if platforms continue to use female-sounding voices, we’re perhaps barreling toward a future in which bots are gender neutral, like Capital One’s Eno, MasterCard’s Kai and Samsung’s Bixby.

Facebook did not respond to a request for comment on the breakdown of the gender – or lack thereof – of bots on its platform.

Messaging platform Kik said it does not track gender or gender neutrality of the 20,000 bots built on its platform.

Mobile messaging platform Pypestream chief customer officer Donna Peeples said most of its bots are gender neutral by design.


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