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02/26/2019

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Samie Conyers

Although the voices of these devices are default to be feminine, that does not undermine the female. The voice is a standard “robot” voice which you hear everywhere. In movies, shows, and our personal technology these voices are automatically assumed to be that of a robot. Also, females typically don’t sound like that. The voice sounds robotic and fake, and is normally not compared to your average woman.

brooke natalie wood

Women servitude has been an outstanding issue dating back to the first civilization of Mesopotamia. Throughout history women have been regarded as intellectually and physically inferior to men, bringing a pressing need for social reorder. Through modernization and progressive movements, this suppression has slowed and even reversed in certain ways. Yet, certain aspects of society, have failed to correspond to recent progressions in gender equality. Siri and other technological services that aim to aid a persons every day life, fail to succum to new genderal expectations. These services promote the idea that a female’s function is to serve others seen through the femininity they engender mimicked in their voice. Not only does this slight the progress made by women to equalize the genders, it allows dated ideals of a women’s role to return.

The Unfavorite Lit Group

The prominence of voice assistants allows Americans to delegate seemingly rudimentary tasks, such as checking the weather and scheduling appointments, to computers. The intention of tech companies was to make the lives of Americans easier. However, there is question as to what the true motives of these companies are. All of the voice assistants are female-Siri, Alexa, Cortana, etc.-which sparks debate of whether the intentions of Apple, Google and Amazon are pure. Female voices are much more alluring than male ones, for many unknown reasons. Using female voices for Alexa, Cortana, and Siri allows for Amazon, Google, and Apple to sell more units. But it also resurfaces stereotypes against women that were supposedly abolished back in the 20th century. Voice assistants are like the virtual maids that serve to address all aspects of virtual life. They remain in the house to complete the simplest of tasks. Similar to housewives of the 1950s, it is unheard of for a male to take over any of these tasks. To companies, a female voice becomes simply a marketing strategy. The high-level executives are not concerned with the patronization of women; they only care about what will make the most money. And, in this twisted society that is America today, only a female voice is acceptable for a virtual home assistant.

Abby

While the idea of sexism is one of importance in today’s society, using female bots as the base of an argument against sexist actions is hardly credible. While these bots do have feminine voices, they are in no way objectifying women as a whole, nor are they reversing the positive change made in recent centuries. If it were voiced by a man, would these bots be symbols of male servitude? No. Because the purpose of these bots is solely to provide service- whether it be forecasting the weather, making a phone call, or answering a question. Though stated by the author that “‘If you can’t have a real woman who will cater to your every whim, buy a virtual one,” contradicts the idea that the only significance of such robots are to provide what a real woman does, which is a sexist comment in itself-more so than any robot the author referenced.

Sophia Waninger

In this article, it is brought to the public’s attention that the popular craze of virtual robots is shaping the way people’s lives develop. Numerous companies and organizations have advanced their technological approach in order to obtain more revenue, even if it means setting negative examples and stereotypes in order to please their audience. After centuries of women being treated unequally in comparison to men, it is not beneficial to the largely supported women’s movement to stereotype a robot that acts like a prop in daily lives. The worst part is that most of the robots’ voices simulate a women’s voice primarily; except for Apple’s Siri, which allows people to command a female to do certain things for their own benefit. How was this problem stressed to the public? Once the movie “Her” came out in theaters, people realized what the horror of a person’s control over a simple robot can influence lifestyle of adults, and children growing up in this era. The situations the main character gets himself into are highly grotesque and involve a fictional robot called “Samantha”. This particular instance shows that although these robots are helpful for daily use, such as playing music, however these robots have been psychologically and emotionally dangerous to human beings who have thought of doing other things than simply asking to play music. All in all, these female robots are beneficial to society, but their negative outlooks are shaping society’s true feelings.

Molly Barkley, Mike Smith, Jacob Strauss, Elizabeth Galvich

Although sexism is a prevalent as well relevant issue in present day, the claim that the default robotic voice such as seen with Siri or Alexa programs, is a bit of a stretch. The gender of the default voice can be easily changed in the settings of one’s device. Siri could be a British male, a South African female, or even Irish of either gender. Siri is simply a virtual assistant, lacking human emotion or the complexity of artificial intelligence. Either way, Siri or even Alexa as a program would have been assigned a default gender. Upon being questioned, Siri does not identify with any gender, it is simply a pitch of voice, no pronouns assigned. The labeling is meant for convenience, to understand which tone of voice one will receive. If Siri had been by default a male, similar accusations would’ve been made my women; that it is inherently sexist, suggesting that men are superior.

Hacc

In the article it has come to realization that even in today's society robots are going to shape the way women are suppose to act, look and be perceived. Siri and many other robotic programs are being defaulted as a women's voice.This is making Women in today's society be inferior to a man in the way she speaks. The psychological factors can and will shape the way men think they can speak down on a female and also have a standard ,that will not be met, considering women are humans and the robot is just a form of artificial intelligence. Parramore speaks on the issue about the movie "her" that creates this story on a male growing frustrated because “Samantha,” the robot does not have a body. This is not acceptable as it is giving standards that will not be met by women.

Brycen Roberts

In the article written by Lynn Stuart Parramore, she argues that companies such as Apple and Amazon are using female voices as a way for males to control women. I strongly disagree with this article in a variety of ways. For one thing, you can change the voice of Siri on the iPhone so that it can be a male voice and you aren't forced to use the default female voice. In the case of Alexa, she is a virtual assistant not a real person. Alexa doesn't have emotions or feelings, she is a robot meant to help with daily tasks and I do not believe she represents the house wife stereotype that Lynn argues. As for the idea of men wanting Siri and Alexa to have a physical body so that they can get off on their sexual fantasies sounds completely ridiculous and that is definitely not a majority of us. These voice assistants are just that, assistants who are here to help provide us with information, not to be sex robots. In conclusion, I don't think that Siri and Alexa are made to serve males, but rather, the default robot voice to help anyone with rudimentary tasks and to provide information in a quick and efficient manner.

George

I think that whoever has the idea that the people that is making these Siris and Alexas are trying to degrade women have a very ignorant mind. It is the fact that everyone has become sensitive nowadays and just looks for something really small in order to make an argument against it. They all may have women voices because women's voices are genuinely more appealing than men's voices are. Maybe even they just chose a women's voice just because they chose it. On Siri, you can change the voice to a man if wanted to too.

Zandra

Although I agree that the seemingly insignificant fact that today's technological assistants having female voices may actually be very important, this does not make it intentional. I feel it is very unlikely that companies are purposely trying to undermine females. When Apple set the precedent for voice assistants using Siri, other companies most likely did not think much of making theirs in the same likeness, which was female. Also, Siri does not have to be Siri. Apple devices give you the capabilities to change the gender and accent of your voice assistant. Large companies like Apple and Amazon also would not want to upset are a large portion of the consumer intentionally because that would only decrease sales. Though I understand why some might be offended by the use of female voices, it should not be taken so seriously unless the female voice is being abused for bad intentions.

Marissa

Although it may seem that women are being sexualized through the voice of seri and Alexa this is not the case. In the sex industry, there are dolls to pleasure both men and women, but seri and Alexa are not even a part of the sex industry. You are over analyzing this if you think just because seri and Alexa has a female voice it automatically means that men are encouraging the idea that women are subservient to men.

Izzy

I completely agree that sexism is an issue that is very prevalent today, but I don't know if I agree that these female technological assistants are reinforcing sexist attitudes. Apple allows their users to change the gender and accent of Siri. While Amazon's Alexa does not provide the same option, it has the same use as Apple's Siri: it assists you in searching the web, finding articles, calling someone, etc. These robots are exactly that, they're robots. They aren't human, they don't feel real emotion, and they do not have a physical body. I think the topic that Lynn Stuart Parramore should be concerned about is the conspiracy that these robots are listening in on your conversations 24/7, not that they're reinforcing sexist attitudes.

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