Since its introduction in November 2014 Alexa – Amazon’s voice-based assistant – only had a female voice. However, Amazon will now offer a male voice for the first time. According to a report by The Verge, Amazon is introducing a new wake-up word called Ziggy. Ziggy is a male voice and users still have a choice of Alexa’s voice. Previously, Amazon had wake up words like Computer, Echo, and Amazon, but the voice was the same as Alexa’s.
The report goes on to say that users have the choice to switch between the two language options – New or Original. You can also ask Alexa to change your voice.
Users need to set the new voice on their Alexa devices as it is not an automatic change. To get the new voice, users need to say “Alexa, change your voice” and the digital assistant will change gender. Users also have the option to change the voice by going into the Alexa app’s settings menu.
Amazon introduced this change a little late as both Google and Apple offer multiple language options for their assistants – Siri and Google Assistant. The company has made it clear that Alexa is not a “person with a physical body or gender identity” and that “Amazon does not allow organizations (e.g., Skills or AVS) to refer to Alexa as her or her”.
As of now, the Alexa male voice option – or Ziggy – will be available in the US. However, it is expected to find its way into other countries as well.