AI assistants reinforce the "subservient" gender clichés, says the UN report


AI SYSTEMS like Alexa and Google Assistant, who use female voices, reinforce gender stereotypes that portray women as "submissive," said a UN report.

The UNESCO Charter has criticized speakers and digital-powered devices to make it appear that women are "courteous, docile and eager to help helpers, available at the touch of a button or with a smooth voice command like & # 39; hey & # 39; or & # 39; OK & # 39 ;. "

The most popular AI speakers currently on the market use a female voice to respond to owners – at least by default – including Amazon's Alexa, Google Assistant and Microsoft's Cortana.

Siri from Apple uses a male voice in Arabic, British English, Dutch and French.

The research continues by stating that these assistants do not hold any power regardless of the tone or hostility of the command, which "reinforces the gender biases commonly held by the fact that women are submissive and tolerant of inadequate treatment".


"Companies like Apple and Amazon, run by teams of predominantly male technicians, have built artificial intelligence systems that make their feminized digital assistants greet verbal abuse with the flirting caused by the temptation to take it out on you," he said.

Responses from speaker AI to verbal sexual harassment are "deviant, dull or apologetic", the report continues.

"In addition to involving and sometimes even thanking users for sexual harassment, voice assistants – apparently not of gender, despite a female voice – seemed to show greater tolerance for the sexual advances of men than women.

"Project an attitude & # 39; boys will be digitally encrypted & # 39;"

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The 146-page document, on the closure of gender divisions in digital skills through education, is titled & # 39; I & # 39; d Blush If I Could & # 39 ;, a reference to a Siri response to an insult sexual.

Researchers urge companies to adopt gender-neutral voices, such as the robotic voice used by the late Stephen Hawking.

The report cites previous studies which suggest that people like low-key male language and male voices for authoritative statements and female voices to be useful, although generally the voice of the opposite sex is preferred.

According to a survey last year, one in 10 people has one or more smart speakers in their home, with the Amazon range of market-leading Echo smart devices.


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