The thing that’s going to make artificial intelligence so cool is its ability to learn, and the way AI learns is to look at human culture – Dan Brown
The bright and shiny golden age that we were promised by Science Fiction authors and perspectivists might not have materialized in the manner that it was supposed to, but there have been the occasional flashes of brilliance that prove that while that great, big beautiful tomorrow might have been slightly delayed, it is most definitely on its way.
And right at the top of the list of the things that mean the future is so bright we’re all going to have to wear shades, is Siri, Apple’s go-to AI (Artificial Intelligence) system.
As Siri is a universal platform that’s been designed specifically to assist and help you with all of the small day to day questions and queries that you might have and to make life easier by honing the way that you connect with, and use the internet and technology, “she” (it seems odd assigning an AI a gender-specific role, but we’ll go with it) has a simple and direct “personality” that’s captured by her accent and voice.
But what if you could change both to individualize and personalize the way that you interact with Siri? What if you could choose Siri’s gender and transform your idea and image of Siri?
On the surface, those changes might seem minor, but it’s small things in life that really matter and can make all the difference, and because we believe that technology and the way that you relate to it should be personal, we’re going to guide you through the easy to follow steps that you can take to create you own, idealized version of Siri that you collaborate and communicate with on your Apple hardware.
What’s In A Name?
As far as Siri is concerned, everything. One of the questions that a lot of users seem to fixate on with Siri is whether or not it’s possible the change “her” name, and choose something more suited to their own personality. Without fail, we have to tell them the same thing, it isn’t.
The only thing that it isn’t possible to alter in your interaction with Siri is the name that the AI uses and responds to.
It’s a core part of the program, and no matter how hard you try, and whatever backdoor route into Siri’s operating system you take, you won’t be able to change the name that the AI responds to.
That doesn’t mean that some genius working for Apple hasn’t found a way to do it, it just means that no one outside of Silicon Valley has been able to do it. Maybe one day there’ll be a way to do it, but that day hasn’t arrived yet.
Names though, aren’t as important as the way that you deal with and talk to Siri on daily basis, so sit back, get comfortable, switch your Apple hardware on and get ready to take a deep dive into its settings, as we’re about to help you change the way that Siri talks to you, and how you interact with “her”.
Changing Siri’s Gender
It’s easy to change Siri’s Apple assigned gender, and by following our step-by-step guide, you’ll be able to change Siri’s voice from female to male and back again, whenever you want to.
And as different devices use a different methodology to make the change possible, we’re going to tell you how you can do it on a broad cross-section of Apple devices. Are you ready? Then let’s begin…
Homepod – Apple’s answer to Amazon’s Alexa, the Homepod is a net-friendly, Siri-controlled device that’s meant to make your day-to-day life easier, and it’s easy to change Siri’s gender on it.
Open the Home app on your closest Apple device, find the Homepod option in the accessories list and then select which Homepod unit you want to change.
Once you’ve done that, scroll through the list of options until you find “Details”, open that tab, and then locate “Siri” and select the voice menu, open it, and hit the gender and accent tab. As soon as it opens, select either “male” or “female” and close the tab. It’s that easy.
iPhone And iPad – Switch whichever one you’re using on, and open the “Settings” tab. Select “Siri”, open the voice options menu, and choose Siri’s new gender.
As soon as you’ve made your choice, Siri will respond with a simple statement and if you’re happy with her, or his new voice, simply close the tab and you’re done. Again, It’s simple and straightforward.
Apple Mac – It’s a little more difficult to change Siri’s gender on a Mac, but as long as your machine is running Sierra or a later operating system, it shouldn’t pose too much of a problem.
However, we feel that we have to point out that some languages in the Mac’s OS don’t support a gender change and are locked in as female only. That said the only way to find out if your native tongue will let you change Siri’s gender, is by diving straight in.
Open the “System Preferences” option, select “Siri” and navigate to the “Voice Language” tab, click on it and select your language.
After you’ve opened it, it’ll let you know if you can change the gender, and Siri will respond accordingly, and if you’re happy close the tab, and go back to your home screen and your changes will be saved automatically.
Apple Watch – If you don’t have a Series 3 or later, you can’t change Siri’s gender, but if you do, it’s incredibly straightforward. Open “Settings”, select “General”, choose “Siri” and the voice menu will open.
Make your gender selection, wait for Siri to respond, and then close the tabs. Your watch will save the changes and Siri will now respond to your questions with the voice of the gender that you chose for your AI.
Adopting A Familiar Accent – Changing The Way Siri Speaks
People find comfort in familiarity, and one of the things that make most of us feel more at ease and comfortable during any conversation is the accent that we hear.
While Siri isn’t programmed with regional variations, she (or he, depending on whether or not you’ve chosen to change Siri’s gender), can adopt and use a National accent, so for instance if English is your first language, you can choose to have Siri respond you in either a British, Australian or American accent, and it’s simple to assign Siri a new nationality.
Homepod – Open the Home app, choose the Homepod that you want to change, open the “Details” tab, click on “Siri” and in the “Language” menu choose your desired language and your device will present you with a number of nationality/accent options, and after you’ve selected the one you want and waited for Siri to respond, close the tabs and the changes will be saved.
iPhone And iPad – Tap the “Settings” menu, scroll to “Siri”, open the voice menu, select the language you want Siri to use, tap the dialect tab, make your choice, wait for Siri to respond, and close the menu.
Apple Mac – The only way to change Siri’s accent is if you’re using Sierra or a later OS, but if you are, open “Settings”, scroll to “Siri” click the tab, open “Voice”, select your “Language” of choice, navigate to “Dialect” and make your selection. Then all you need to do is close all of the tabs, and the OS will save the changes that you’ve made.
Apple Watch – If you’ve already changed the dialect/accent on your iPhone, then your Apple Watch will have automatically updated and changed the accent that Siri uses. If you haven’t, simply change the dialect on your iPhone and your watch will do the rest.
What’s My Name? How Can I Change What Siri Calls Me?
When you’re talking to Siri, you can be whoever you want to be, and it’s simple and straightforward to change your identity and the name that Siri uses when she or he talks to you. And the way you change your name and what Siri calls you is the same on every Apple device.
Go to “Settings”, click the “Mail, Contacts And Calendars” tab and when it opens, scroll down until you see the “My Info” folder.
After you’ve opened the “My Info”, you can change your name to whatever you want it to be, or more accurately whatever you want Siri to call you from now on and as soon as you’ve closed the tab, the changes will be saved and from that point on, that’s the name that Siri will use for you every time you talk to the AI.
There is, however, a much simpler way to change the name that Siri uses when she or he talks to you and you can do it with a single voice command.
All you need to do is hold the ‘Home’ button on your device and say “Siri, from now on call me…” and use whatever name you’ve chosen to finish the sentence.
When Siri replies, she or he will use your new name, and as soon as the AI uses that name once, it’ll be the name that it uses for you from that point on.
What Did You Just Call Me? Teaching Siri To Pronounce Your Name Properly
If you’ve got one of those names that for some reason other people seem to have a hard time learning how to pronounce or say properly, then it can be incredibly frustrating if your AI suffers from the same problem.
It’s a lifelong issue that follows you everywhere you go, and one that we’re all too familiar with and used to.
But just because you’re used to other people getting your name wrong, it doesn’t mean that you have to grin and bear it when your phone or your watch gets your name wrong too.
The good news is, you don’t have to change your name or adopt an alter-ego if Siri can’t say your name or gets it wrong, as you can actually teach “Her” (or “him” depending on the gender you’ve chosen for Siri) to say your name properly, and as long as your Apple devices are all linked, you’ll only have to do it on the one device and all the others will follow suit.
If there’s one thing that AI can do well, it’s learning and anything that they’re taught, they’ll pick up on and adapt to almost straight away.
So, this is what you need to do.
On your chosen device, go to “Settings” and open the “Mail, Contacts And Calendar” option and select the contact that you want to change, which in this case is you. Once you’ve chosen the contact, hit the “Edit” option and then press the “Add Field” option that appears.
As soon as you’ve selected it, you’ll be given three different choices: “Phonetic First Name”, “Phonetic Middle Name” and “Phonetic Last Name”. Choose the one that you want to change, and then speaking clearly and slowly pronounce your name until Siri responds accordingly.
If the AI doesn’t get it right the first time, keep repeating your name after choosing one of the Phonetic options until you’re happy that Siri has mastered how to say your name.
And when “she” or “he” has, close the tabs and you’ll never have to worry about your phone getting your name wrong again.
The Final Identity Verdict
Siri will be, or already is, your constant companion, so it’s important that you’re as comfortable with the AI as you can possibly be and that you’re happy to interact with “her” (or “him” as the case may be) and that’s why we put this guide together.
Instead of being something to fear, the future should be something that we embrace and by reshaping it in whatever image we want to, we can stride into it with confidence. And the first step on that journey begins by remaking Siri in your image, or the one that you’ve chosen for “her”.