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

Related posts:

Phone Smack-down: Cortana vs. Siri & Google

Wondering how the different mobile virtual assistants fare?

Dan Rubino, of Windows Phone Central, put together a tête-à-tête-à-tête  comparison, pitting newcomer Cortana (Windows phone 8.1) against veterans Siri (Apple) and  Google Now (Android).  Although presented fairly objectively, consider the source when reviewing, and judge for yourself.

If you want to skip the 7 minute video, here’s the the blow-by-blow. In many cases each assistant handled its task slightly differently. For more details view the video, or follow this link to wpcentral.com’s article.

 

Siriapple

Cortanawin8logo

Googlephone_android

Settings
“Turn off WiFi.”
blue checkmark blue checkmark blue checkmark
Social media
“Four Square, check-in.”
blue checkmark blue checkmark
Connect
“Call _____ using Skype?”
 blue checkmark  blue checkmark
Events
“When’s the next Miami Heat game?”
blue checkmark blue checkmark blue checkmark
Flights
“Flight status, AA125.”
blue checkmark blue checkmark blue checkmark
Appointments
“What’s my schedule?”
blue checkmark blue checkmark
Web Browser
“Go to CNN.com.”
blue checkmark blue checkmark blue checkmark
Notes
“Note: I need to repark the car.”
blue checkmark(w/Notepad) blue checkmark(w/One Note) blue checkmark(w/email)
Navigation
“Where’s the nearest Dunkin Donuts?”
blue checkmark blue checkmark blue checkmark
Weather
“Whats the weather like Tuesday?”
blue checkmark blue checkmark blue checkmark

Cheers!

hɔuᴉnb

 Windows Phones 8.1

Windows Phone 8.1

At this month’s Build ConferenceMicrosoft debuted their newest mobile operating system,Windows Phone 8.1. This OS will appear on select new phones, with an update for existing phones targeted for later this year.

Here are some highlights:

  • Swype Keyboard Input. Something android users have long enjoyed, this slip-slidemethod of typing and pattern recognition will speed up your mobile typing.
  • Action Center. Pull-down access to key settings (e.g., WiFi, Bluetooth). The Center can be customized, allowing you to select what features you want to access more easily.
  • Cortana, voice recognition IA (named after the character in Microsoft’s HALO game). Speak your request and Cortana responds. Cortana (whose search is, not surprisingly, powered by BING) has both a sense of humor (ask her if she knows Siri) and a decent singing voice.
  • Additional Improvements have been made to the Windows Phone Camera (now featuring a Burst Capture) and Kids Corner (now simplified, so you can easily hand junior your phone for games without worry that your data will be deleted).

To read the full review visit Pocket-lint

 

Cheers!

hɔuᴉnb