Today, Apple released the iOS 14.5 beta 6 beta system. For the English system, Apple brought several changes to Siri. Starting from iOS 14.5, Siri will no longer default to female voice, and two other voice options will be added for users to choose from. These changes also apply to HomePod. Apple stated that this change is part of its commitment to diversity and inclusion:
“We are very happy to introduce two new Siri voices for English speakers and provide Siri users with the option to select the voice they want when setting up their devices. This is Apple’s long-term commitment to diversity and inclusion, as well as products and services. Continuing, these products and services are designed to better reflect the diversity of the world we live in.”
The report explains that the new sounds are derived from real human recordings and then run through Apple’s neuron text-speech engine. But currently, in the beta version of the system, only English has added new voices, and Chinese has not been added.
Starting from iOS 14.5, the system will prompt the user to select the voice assistant during the first setup.
In addition, iOS 14.5 beta 6 also improves the Siri voice in Ireland, Russia and Italy, upgrading it from neural text to speech. This means that 38 voices are now using this new technology. The report said: “Siri now processes 25 billion requests on 500 million devices and supports 21 languages in 36 countries.”
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