Siri isn't alone in the sorority of digital assistants. She joins a lineage that started in 1952 with Bell Labs' Audrey, who could recognize spoken numbers. Since then, tech companies have produced an array of female digital assistants, including Viv, Alexa, Cortana, and Ooma
More recently, a couple of male voices have joined the chorus, including Google Assistant’s Voice II and Samsung's Bixby. But Bixby was lambasted on the internet as sexist, and Voice II's very name implies it's a token feature. Even Siri now has a male voice alternative, but the name and default setting say it all.
After more than six decades of voice assistants, it's time to ask the uncomfortable question: Why do we, Americans, anyway, prefer female voices for our digital assistants?
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