While, dropping a question to Siri, Alexa, Cortana you will be answered by a pleasant and polite woman’s voice. Thus, proving the fact that most AI Bots are female, and making feminists question objectifying women. But, it is urged that studies show that males and females are more attracted to a woman’s voice.
In an article published in the journal Psychology & Marketing, it was argued that research on what makes people can provide a new perspective into why feminization is systematically used in AI. It was suggested that if women tend to be more objectified in AI than men, it is not just because they are perceived as the perfect assistant, but also because people attribute more humanness to women in the first place when compared to men.
At the same time, women are perceived as warmer and more likely to experience emotions than men, the female gendering of AI objects contributes to humanizing them. Warmth and experience are indeed seen as fundamental qualities to be a full human but are lacking in machines.
This research was about what makes people human compared to machines to better understand the deep roots of the widespread female gendering of AI because feelings are at the very substance of our humanness, and as women are perceived as more likely to experience feelings. It was said that female gendering of AI objects makes them look more human and more likely to consider their unique needs.
Even in one research, the clips of male and female voices were played and gave people a questionnaire about which voice they implicit, or subconsciously preferred. The men in the study reported that they preferred female voices, but they showed no implicit preference for males, whereas the women in the study implicitly preferred female voices to male ones.
Some said the reason for having female ai bots could be that women are perceived as less threatening or more friendly than men and the same could be said of childlike robots.
Data from the American Psychologist Association’s Centre for Workforce Studies show that women make up 76% of new psychology doctorates, 74% of early career psychologists, and 53% of the psychology workforce and as per the US Department of Labor, 94.6% of secretaries and administrative assistants are women, while 96.5% of firefighters are men.
Even the World Economic Forum identified the gender gap in the talent pool by surveying Linkedln users who self-identified as possessing AI skills which showed that 78% of them are male. Element.ai sampled AI researchers from three AI conferences in machine learning and machine vision in 2017 found that across 23 countries, 88% of the researchers are men.
Thus, in this above situation, it is often commented that many of the engineers who design these machines are men, and men find women attractive, and women are also OK dealing with women. Adding that when humanoid robots are female, they tend to be modeled after attractive, subservient young women.
For example, the name Siri in Norse means “a beautiful woman who leads you to victory,” which was acquired by Apple in 2010 from the research nonprofit SRI International.
These results highlight the ethical quandary faced by AI designers and policymakers that women are said to be transformed into objects in AI, but injecting women’s humanity into AI objects makes these objects seem more human and acceptable.