Go to contents

Are AI personal assistants women?

Posted March. 31, 2017 07:15,   

Updated March. 31, 2017 07:17


The male protagonist heard only two voices in “Passengers,” a science fiction film released at the end of last year. It was a female voice updating the operation status of the spaceship and a male voice of a bartender robot. He was supposed to travel to the destination while sleeping for 120 years. However, he woke up 90 years early due to an error of the device. He got tired of the monotonous female voice of the spaceship as well as the voice of the bartender robot. He was so lonely that he eventually woke a woman passenger up. He needed someone to talk to.

With the development of artificial intelligence, humans and computers are communicating more naturally. It is surprising to see the improvement of the capabilities of AI personal assistants such as iPhone’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant. There is one thing in common: woman. Of course, the gender is based on voices. Galaxy S8, a smartphone Samsung Electronics released on Wednesday (local time), is also equipped with Bixby, an AI personal assistant. It has a female voice, too.

This reflects that manufacturers accepted the survey result that both male and female users prefer a young woman as a personal assistant. It also partly reflects the perception that women have taken assistant roles. In addition, young women’s voices are easy to recognize. Jarvis, an artificial intelligence that features a male voice in the movie “Iron Man,” sounds more like a fellow researcher than a secretary. IBM’s Watson is also a male.

Raj, an Indian guy appeared in The Big Bang Theory, an American sitcom about the life of physicists, is too shy to talk to a woman. In Season 5, Raj talks with iPhone’s Siri like a girlfriend, which makes his friends laugh. We now live in a world where those who have no one to resort to love AI. AI is also developing in the direction where it finds out how users feel or their social relationship. Hopefully, Bixby can develop to the extent where it can have a warm heart to people after deep learning.