Apple says it is adding new voices to Siri for English speakers worldwide and also axing its familiar female voice as the default option, in iOS 14.5 beta 6. The new Siri voices will be available in a preference of voice in 16 languages.
The announcement was provided in a statement to TechCrunch.
“We’re excited to introduce two new Siri voices for English speakers and the option for Siri users to select the voice they want when they set up their device,” said Apple. “This is a continuation of Apple’s long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion, and products and services that are designed to better reflect the diversity of the world we live in.”
According to Apple, the new voices will use talent recordings processed through the company’s Neural text to speech engine. Voices will sound more organic as phrases will be created in real-time.
With the newest iOS beta, Siri in Ireland, Russia and Italy get upgraded to Neural TTS, with now 38 total voices supporting the latter technology. Apple says Siri now handles 25 billion monthly requests on over 500 million devices, and supports 21 languages in 36 countries.