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Siri and the sex of technology

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1Siri and the sex of technology Empty Siri and the sex of technology Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:35 pm


Siri, the digital PA on Apple's latest iPhone, is female in the US and male in the UK. Apple has declined to comment on the reasoning behind this, but theories abound.
Siri and the sex of technology Iphone-007
Stephen Ebbett, of gadget insurer, says: "Apple discount jerseyshas decided that Brits trust an authoritative male voice, while Americans traditionally favour and are more receptive to a female voice."

Last week, an editor at Washington-based Atlantic magazine, Rebecca Rosen,nfl jerseys cheap studied the gender politics of robots. She concluded that when technology uses a voice to guide us through phone messages or on public transport, it tends to be female. Anything more active or cerebral is usually male.

For manufacturers, working out the sex of technology is a complicated business – and one that unearths our prejudices. Professor Clifford Nass of Stanford University, an authority on the human-technology interface, said in the Toronto Star that people respond to robotic gender just as they do to human gender, with deeper voices considered "more intelligent and credible".

He worked at BMW in the 90s when it recalledjerseys wholesale navigation systems with a female voice: "Drivers [who were mostly male] didn't want to take directions from a female." So does the ubiquity of female GPS voices mean the situation has improved? Or is it because women's voices are thought to be more calming, reverting to the "women as carers, men as doers" paradigm?

Returning to Apple's Siri, Jeremy Wagstaff, steelers jerseys cheapwho runs technology consultancy Loose Wire Organisation, says: "Americans speak loudly and clearly and are usually in a hurry, so it makes sense for them to have a female voice because it has the pitch and range. British people mumble and cheap jerseys obey authority, so they need someone authoritative." Which, apparently, still means male.

• This article was amended on 21 October 2011. The original said the Atlantic magazine was based in Boston. This has been corrected.

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