Wednesday February 19, 2020

Alexa, bias, and the trouble with how we think about voices

Are the voices we assign to digital assistants reinforcing stereotypes?

Emmet Ryan

Technology Correspondent

@emmetjryan
23rd May, 2019

A study by Unesco has, somewhat unsurprisingly, found that having female voices on digital assistants like Alexa and Siri reinforces gender stereotypes. The effort to make the relationship with these devices more human has, naturally, led to influencing how we think about other humans.

It’s a flaw, one that was blatantly obvious a mile off, but wholly missed due to the efforts of the creators to make users feel more comfortable talking to digital assistants....

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