Q, the First Gender-neutral Assistant

Siri, Cortana, Alexa; each is markedly female. And, despite settings that allow you to modify your voice-activated assistant, the voices have been decidedly binary.

Until now; Meet Q

Created by a group of linguists, technologists, and sound designers, Q hopes to “end gender bias” and encourage “more inclusivity in voice technology.” They recorded the voices of two dozen people who identify as male, female, transgender, or non-binary in search for a voice that typically “does not fit within male or female binaries.” To find this voice, the Q team conducted a test involving over 4,600 people, who were asked to rate the voice on a scale of 1 (male) to 5 (female).

For more on the research and technology behind Q, visit TheNextWeb

Cheers!

quincy

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SKYPE new feature: Blur my background

 

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    Animated image of a background being blurred in Skype.

    Ah, the foibles of working from home.

    That Skype call is about to start and you’ve got wet laundry and dirty dishes all over the place.

    Worried about what your VC attendees are going to see? Worry no more:

    Skype now offers a BLUR MY BACKGROUND. This option, similar to one present in MS Teams, uses heuristics (aka, technomagic) to discern foreground from background then applies a flattering blur similar to the one that Cybil Shepherd’s Maddie Hayes character was often filmed with.

    Next up on the R&D drawing boards:

    • Add Pants Filter (for those moments when you prematurely stand up)
    • Hide my wife and kids, for this guy

    Cheers!

    quincy

    Additional reading: