Alexa, why do bots have a gender?

Kate Devlin

The current generation of AI virtual assistants all started off with a female voice as default. There are a number of supposed scientific explanations about why a female voice is the better choice for a conversational interface but none of these stand up to close scrutiny. So, why, then, are we defaulting to the human female for our service technology? Is it simply a case of the ‘sea of dudes’ in Silicon Valley trying to recreate their mothers? And if so, are we ethically obliged to address this? This talk will bust the myths around the argued benefits of gendered bots, and will look at the wider issue of gender bias in AI in the work environment, the algorithms, and the interaction design.

Objective of the talk

Raising awareness of the extent of gender bias (and unconscious bias) in AI.

Track 3
Location: Stephenson Date: October 16, 2018 Time: 1:25 pm - 2:10 pm Kate Devlin Dr Kate Devlin, Goldsmiths, University of London