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Amazon Gives Alexa A ‘Male’ Counterpart And His Name Is Ziggy
By Mikelle Leow, 22 Jul 2021
Image via Anete Lusina / Pexels (CC0)
For years, tech behemoths have been criticized for perpetuating subservient female stereotypes into voice assistants. “Masculine” options were later added by Google and Apple, with Amazon now being the latest to catch up.
Joining the Echo family unannounced is ‘Ziggy’, the Adam to Alexa’s Eve. The “male” voice option was first uncovered by The Ambient, and appears to have been added alongside celebrity voices like Melissa McCarthy and Shaquille O’Neal.
Users can get Alexa to switch genders by saying, “Alexa, change your voice,” or by heading to the settings section via the Alexa app. The feature is device-specific, so users would have to manually activate the voice if they own more than one Alexa gadget.
Ziggy is now one of the voice assistant’s wake words, meaning that users can activate the device by calling the new name.
For now, Ziggy lives in devices based in the US, though there’s a chance Amazon will roll out the voice in other parts of the world.
[via Tech Times and The Ambient, cover image via Anete Lusina / Pexels (CC0)]
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