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Apple to give Siri gender-neutral option voiced by an LGBTQ person

Apple has said in a statement, "we work to make the experience feel as personalised as possible."

2022-02-23

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Unsplash

Apple is making a genderless voice option for its virtual assistant Siri as part of Apple's diversity offering, according to reports. 

The update where the voice won't be explicitly male or female sounding is said to be coming in the next update for iOS and is currently being tested. 

It follows a previous update which included voices recorded by Black voice actors. 

"A new Siri voice"

Axios says it has confirmed the news regarding the update and that the voice 'option number 5' has been added in a beta version of iOS 15.4 and that this has gone to developers and the public on Tuesday (22 February)

According to Axios, Apple has confirmed that a member of the LGBTQ community recorded the voice.

In a statement to the website, Apple says: "We’re excited to introduce a new Siri voice for English speakers, giving users more options to choose a voice that speaks to them. Millions of people around the world rely on Siri every day to help get things done, so we work to make the experience feel as personalised as possible."

Apple news experts Macworld have a brief clip of what the voice will likely sound like.

The default female voice was removed last year according to Macworld and replaced with a more diverse range including the voices recorded by Black actors. 

Apple said at the time the updates "further Apple’s long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion, with products and services that are designed to better reflect our customers and the world."

Attitude's new-look March/April issue is out now.