Making smart devices ‘gender neutral’ won’t undo their deep-seated sexism

Technology 1 week ago Mashable 14
Making smart devices ‘gender neutral’ won’t undo their deep-seated sexism

The smart assistants sold by big tech companies have a sexism problem. Their names and voices are default female, their answers to questions have sometimes excluded information that’s relevant to women, and — especially in the early days — they answered provocative or abusive queries with cheeky responses like “I’d blush if I could.” 

Companies have addressed these criticisms (including from the U.N.) in some ways: You can make Siri’s voice male, and Alexa now shuts down sexually suggestive or harassing queries with answers like “I’m not going to respond to that”; previously, Alexa said “Thank you.”   Read more...

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