In a new york times report Unesco’s Director for gender equality says Saniye Gulser Corat says “Obedient and obliging machines that pretend to be women are entering our homes, cars and offices.“The world needs to pay much closer attention to how, when and whether A.I. technologies are gendered and, crucially, who is gendering them.
The report goes on to question why is it most smart devices both ‘by default’ have female names, female voices and can have a submissive or flirtatious tone?
It points the problem to a lack of diversity within the industry that’s reinforcing the stereotypes.
If you do not believe us check out how the virtual assistants makers created the names. this is what the report found:
- “Siri’s female’ obsequiousness — and the servility expressed by so many other digital assistants projected as young women — provides a powerful illustration of gender biases coded into technology products.”
- “Amazon’s Alexa, named for the ancient library of Alexandria, is unmistakably female.”
- “Microsoft’s Cortana was named after an A.I. character in the Halo video game franchise that projects itself as a sensuous, unclothed woman.”
- “Apple’s Siri is a Norse name that means “beautiful woman who leads you to victory.” The Google Assistant system, also known as Google Home, has a gender-neutral name, but the default voice is again female.”
The report is the first to provide recommendations regarding the gendering and urged tech companies and governments to stop making digital assistants female by default. They would like to them create a gender-neutral voice assistant.
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