The sixth beta version of iOS 14.5 released this morning introduces two new Siri voices available in English, plus it adds a new setup option that lets people choose their preferred Siri voice instead of defaulting a female voice in the United States.
The Siri changes were outlined by TechCrunch, and the website says that the two new voices will provide more diversity in speech sound and pattern. Apple stated in a statement that the change is a continuation of its commitment to diversity and inclusion.
We are pleased to introduce two new Siri voices for English speakers and the ability for Siri users to choose the voice they want when setting up the device. This is a continuation of Apple̵7;s long – standing commitment to diversity and inclusion, and products and services designed to better reflect the diversity of the world we live in.
The new voices added use source talent footage through Apple’s Neural Engine to make the voices “flow more organically” through phrases generated on the go.
After upgrading to iOS 14.5, the “Siri & Search” section of the Settings app has an upgraded “Siri Voice” option. The “Accent” label has been changed to “Variety” and is no longer a “Gender” option. Instead, there are now four “American” voting options to choose from.
Today’s beta also enhances Siri voices in Ireland, Russia and Italy to add Apple’s Neural text to speech, bringing the total number of devices using this technology to 38. Siri now handles 25 billion requests for over 500M votes and supports 21 languages in 36 countries.
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