Meet Q, the new gender-neutral AI

The best on the web, picked by the editors at The Day.

What do You Think?

Close your eyes. Listen to the voice in this video. Does it sound more like a man or a woman? If you can’t make up your mind, then that is the point: it is designed to be gender-neutral. This week, a UN study criticised the female voices of Siri and Alexa for reinforcing “commonly held gender biases that women are subservient and tolerant of poor treatment”.

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Activities

  1. The UN report explains: “Because the speech of most voice assistants is female, it sends a signal that women are [...] docile helpers, available at the touch of a button.” Are AI assistants sexist? Debate as a class.
  2. Write a short story, set in a future where AI assistants become conscious. What effect would this have on our homes, relationships and society?