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Gender Neutral Voice



The user wants to interact with a voice interface which uses a voice that isn’t distinctly male or female.

A screengrab from the Q website, promoting their genderless voice.
The pioneering Q voice is designed to sound neither female nor male.


The voice used by the interface is carefully constructed to sound neither male or female. 


As with a Gender Neutral Bot, the perceived gender of a voice UI does not affect task completion and so may be overlooked. However, unlike bots which use interface, text, graphics, and emojis to communicate, the voice literally is the interface for a voice UI, so our entire perception of that interface is determined by the tone, expression, and vocabulary of it. The trend has been to default to female voices in these interfaces, which is especially problematic given that they often play the role of domestic servants or are otherwise subservient.

There are least two benefits to using a gender neutral or genderless voice like Q. One is immediately clear, that of avoiding the perpetuation of harmful stereotypes. The second one may be less obvious, but is also worth considering — that a significant number of people identify as non-binary or otherwise reject binary gender labels. Providing a non-binary voice option is a valuable recognition that people with non-binary genders exist.