Stocks rose sharply on Monday as Treasury yields rebounded, quelling fears of a possible recessionUS Marketsread more
The Business Roundtable, a group of CEOs of nearly 200 major U.S. corporations, gave a new definition of the "purpose of a corporation."Marketsread more
J.P. Morgan estimates the average annual tariff cost per household will be $1,000 with the new round of Trump's tariffs.Marketsread more
J.P. Morgan says investors should remain guarded for the rest of August and wait until next month before buying stocks again.Marketsread more
The attacks come after state and local ransomware attacks in New York, Louisiana, Maryland and Florida resulted in the loss of significant sums.Technologyread more
Wild market swings claimed plenty of victims last week, but Cornerstone Macro's Carter Worth says Home Depot is poised for a big breakout.Options Actionread more
The conglomerate's head of investor relations released a more detailed statement about accounting practices under fire from Harry Markopolos.Marketsread more
Investors should be careful not to buy or sell stocks based on last week's brief inversion of the yield curve in the bond market, CNBC's Jim Cramer warns.Investingread more
Goldman notes that high-dividend payers are trading at their largest valuation discount in nearly 40 years.Marketsread more
Amazon is raising seller fees for thousands of small and medium-sized businesses in France because of a new digital tax passed by the French government.Technologyread more
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the U.S. will extend a reprieve given to Huawei that permits the Chinese firm to buy supplies from U.S. companies.Politicsread more
Last year, I wrote an opinion piece lamenting the number of female virtual assistants on the market.
I asked major tech companies — Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google, if we're naming names — for virtual assistants with traditionally male voices where they didn't exist and for a more neutral default setting where they did. I thought I was asking for choice, but a joint venture by Vice's creative agency Virtue and Copenhagen Pride has just shown me up and invented a third, undeniably compelling option.
The virtual assistant is called Q, and it's designed to be genderless. It sounds neither male nor female — or seems to fluctuate between the two depending on how intensely you're listening for a gendered bent.
Q is a composite of five voices, recorded and then altered to match a gender-neutral range of pitches, as defined by a linguist and researcher. It's scientific and definably gender-neutral, and it establishes criteria by which other assistants could follow suit.
Q checks a lot of the boxes that tech companies frequently call upon to justify their own gendered virtual assistants: warmth, helpfulness, a sense of authority. I can imagine Q reading out news headlines or a text from a relative. It even has a pleasantly ambiguous European accent.
Virtue and Copenhagen Pride have high ambitions to embed the virtual assistant in everything from personal tech to public transit.
"We aim to get the attention of leading technological companies that work with AI to ensure they are aware that a gender binary normativity excludes many people and to inspire them by showing how easy it would actually be to recognize that more than two genders exist when developing artificial intelligence devices. This is about giving people choices and options," Thomas Rasmussen, head of communication for Copenhagen Pride said in a statement announcing Q.
The only hitch: Q is just a voice at this point. There's no AI framework underpinning the assistant, which means Q can't actually understand and address your requests yet.
Meanwhile Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Google Assistant can't seem to break out of the female-first image they were made in. Q could help with that.
—CNBC's Ryan Browne contributed to this report.