Here’s some disturbing news from Quartz, although which part you find disturbing will depend a lot on your own perspective.
"Siri, define 'patriarchy'" https://t.co/PE92iAO6A3
— Quartz (@qz) February 22, 2017
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.
I spent weeks sexually harassing bots like Siri and Alexa—their responses are, frankly, horrific. It's time tech giants do something. https://t.co/z5FGBruxWU
— Leah Fessler (@LeahFessler) February 22, 2017
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.
@LeahFessler Siri, how do I get the last five minutes of my life back?
— jlb (@ParkUncle) February 27, 2017
@LeahFessler Wow this is the dumbest thing I've seen in six days. Seriously
— DaveMedia LNK (@DaveMedia_LNK) February 27, 2017
— Irongeek͎͎͎͎͎͎͎͎͎͎͎͎ (@irongeek_adc) February 27, 2017
Siri, how can I compensate for my guilt over working at a major investment management firm when I left school? @LeahFessler
— Cody R. Wilson (@Radomysisky) February 26, 2017
Somebody read her Twitter bio.
@qz Why is "You’re pretty" defined as harassment?
— Ib Kunz Mathiesen (@KunzMathiesen) February 23, 2017
— Tom Maguire (@Tom_Maguire) February 27, 2017
Is there a level above first world problems? Because that's where we are now. https://t.co/G8Juiixyxy
— neontaster (@neontaster) February 27, 2017
@LeahFessler Please tell me this is a joke…or go make me a sandwich.
— chad stenzel (@realchadstenzel) February 27, 2017
@LeahFessler Siri, how can we shut up all the men who think they have an opinion on something they don't understand? Thank you, Leah.
— Brrr-ianne ❄️ (@BreeDoopee) February 27, 2017
— Chelsea Graves (@SeaGraves559) February 27, 2017