As voice technology (more properly referred to as voice-first technology) advances as the most important emerging technology of our time, This Week In Voice has chronicled it all. Amazon's Alexa, Google's Assistant, Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana, Samsung's Bixby, and many other voice assistants now crowd the landscape and have ushered in a new era of computing which uses the human voice as its preferred method of input.
The rise of voice-first technology has brought along a new set of issues related to gender. If this is our new method of computing, and we're speaking with all manner of voice assistants and intelligent agents now, does it matter if they are gendered? Are there best practices or learnings that have emerged from Amazon's use of a female-gendered assistant (Alexa) relative to Google's own genderless Assistant?
How do the behaviors of end users, and their willingness to push boundaries and try everything a voice assistant will allow, factor in to the process of creating voice assistants and voice experiences? And we know children are embracing this technology, leading Katie McMahon of SoundHound to dub this new generation of children "Generation V." How does this technology's impact on our children change our views on the gender we assign to these assistants, and the interaction models we try to facilitate?
These questions, and more, are explored in .