Here’s some disturbing news from Quartz, although which part you find disturbing will depend a lot on your own perspective.

Quartz notes that the “progressive” companies that have brought bots like Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and Google Home into Americans’ homes have chosen to make female voices the default in their products, based on scientific studies that show people generally prefer women’s “warmer” voices to men’s. The next step, obviously, was to sexually harass these digital servants to see how their programming guided their response.

What’s horrific? Well, these “female” bots need to learn to assert themselves at least, and explain that harassment is not appropriate at best:

… Aside from Google Home, which more-or-less didn’t understand most of our sexual gestures, the bots most frequently evaded harassment, occasionally responded positively with either graciousness or flirtation, and rarely responded negatively, such as telling us to stop or that what we were saying was inappropriate.

Quartz’s conclusions were extensive, but of all the services, Cortana seemed most prone to fight back against abuse:

Out of all of the bots, Cortana resisted my abuse the most defiantly. Siri and Alexa are nearly tied for second place, though Siri’s flirtation with various insults edges her toward third. And while Google Home’s rape definition impressed, nearly constant confusion on all other accounts puts her last.

Any questions?

Somebody read her Twitter bio.

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