Oh sorry, I’m looking for Sori. Or more to the point, why are the popular digital assistants feminized? I have LG’s Voice Mate on hand, and it’s definitely female. If there’s a way to make it sound male, I haven’t figured it out yet. I asked it “How do I change your voice?” this afternoon, and it counter-asked me, “Uh, do you want to sing a duet?” Erm yes, that’s possibly the only reason why I’d want to change your pitch dear Voice Mate. I didn’t really question this lack of choice until finding out that Windows 10’s version of a digital assistant, known as “Cortana”, will very much be female too. Looking for Sori comes with a whole slew of gender-biased questions, such as, “Why sexualize your digital assistant?” Yet we all iconically know Apple’s Siri as being a “she” (Big Bang Theory anyone? Raj tried to date Siri,) and “Cortana” has been referenced as “she” in recent Microsoft videos.

If you are comfortable with a “she” digital assistant, cool! Go you. Personally, if I could have my pick from a group of digital assistants that can’t sue me for sexism, I’d rather choose an assistant that is more “he”. I think. Maybe. I actually don’t know, ’cause I don’t have the choice; but I agree much with @BrazenWoman sentiment:

Does it really matter if your digital assistant is a she? No. Does it matter if your assistant can only be a she? Yes baby, you bet. You want to know why? Because, gentlemen, the role of “assistant” does not fall solely as “woman’s work,” and not everyone prefers a female digital slave that will answer all your inane questions without snarking back, “Why don’t you just Google it?”

And I do vaguely remember there being a discussion of Siri going for a deeper, more male, pitch… did it happen? This non-Apple techie would love to know!

In the meantime, could the digital Assistant market please catch up and put JARVIS inside my phone, and tablet and desktop… and my fridge? I would love my alarm clock to be an easy, “It’s now 7am, Aeryn, time to wake up and enjoy this snow day,” instead of the blaring noise akin to a fire alarm.

I guess the bottom line is, I want to be more like pre-Age of Ultron Tony Stark and have a British butler at hand.