Apple’s intelligent assistant Siri has become a familiar voice to many of us, whether we choose to have the assistant talk to us in a male or a female voice. It’s probably natural to put an imagined face to a voice, even an artificial voice. But why is that imagined face usually attractive?
According to recent research in the UK, the male version of Siri is pictured as “a clean shaven, brunette male with a strong jaw and brooding brown eyes.”
Amazon’s counterpart Alexa, which currently only has a female voice, apparently has “classic English rose”, girl-next-door good looks.
How old are Siri and Alexa?
When the British public were asked how old they pictured Siri and Alexa to be, both the intelligent assistants were imagined to be around 30 years old.
According a blog post from the cellphone insurance provider Insurance2Go, which conducted the survey, “Siri is popularly believed to be an olive skinned male with dark brown hair in a short back and sides style.”
The post adds that: “He also has no facial hair, monolid brown eyes and an aquiline nose. Perhaps it’s the rigid authority of his voice or dry wit that means most of us think of Siri as a learned, boffin-type character who probably undertook a Master’s degree.”
Alexa, meanwhile, was thought to have “vivid blue eyes that stand out against her white skin” and “light brown hair which is medium in length and straight.”
She’s imagined to have “an oval-shaped face, subtle eye make-up and a button nose,” and “her confident delivery and decisive tone” seems to make most people imagine she’s a women with a certain power.
What makes somebody attractive?
Expert and dating coach James Preece said: “Firstly, vocal attractiveness is a very important cue to the brain. When we hear a voice we like, we automatically assume they are equally as attractive in real life.
“Studies show that we think of them as having more symmetrical faces and also that they are nicer people all round.
“Siri is also quite monotone, which many studies state makes a man more attractive.”
The survey raises interesting questions about attractiveness in general. What is it that makes somebody supposedly attractive?
As mentioned previously, symmetry is one of the theories. When both sides of the face are close to being identical, the person seems to have few imperfections, in terms of their facial appearance at least.
High cheek bones, full lips and many other things come into it, but in many ways attractiveness is not about what can be seen on the face, but about what can’t be seen: imperfections.
Perhaps when we are asked to imagine a face, we imagine a kind of neutral appearance – a default appearance without any unusual features. Both Siri and Alexa are imagined as being attractive, but not striking.