Siri, the voice-activated intelligent personal assistant for IOS users, makes our life easier. It can help you make phone calls, check the time or even open an app. Have you ever wondered why the default voice for Siri is a female voice? Why do we assume it to be a her?
Like Siri, cases in which AI are assigned a gender follow the same gender norms as real life. The AI serving as assistants such as Siri, Xiaoai and waiter robots usually share the default gender of "her" whereas those industrial robots with advanced technology and high flexibility most of which are rough in appearance, have a masculine name.
The reason behind these phenomena is the gender imbalance in the technology field: Technology itself has no gender, but technology practitioners do. Check the data below:
At present, only 18% of the world's top AI academic conference participants are female authors; only 20% of professors in the field of global AI are female. In the AI research teams of two tech giants, Facebook and Google, women accounted for only 15% and 10%, respectively.
AI, the cutting-edge technology that will impact the future development trends of human beings, is already beginning to a have a great impact on our life. Society is influenced (and will ultimately be dominated) by AI, so the way that AI is presented (including the gender assigned to an AI) affects people's mindset.
Although most people around the world benefit from AI, the technology also has its dark side, and women and children account for the vast majority of its victims. Artificial intelligence has been used to commit offline crime, human trafficking, privacy leakage, property infringement and so on.
In the popular film "Her", the protagonist uses his artificial intelligence assistant as a sexual fantasy object. Although this movie portrays these clips in an artistic manner, the underlying mindset behind this plot, one that also appears in many other works, should be seen as an alert.
How can we address such issues? How can we increase women's participation in AI? What should we do to empower "her" in the AI world? Achieving that goal requires great effort and long-term action, but we could start with three things: raising women‘s awareness of technology, investing in technology-related education for females, and encouraging women’s participation in the field of technology.
AI is not mysterious. After acquiring professional knowledge, anyone of any gender can contribute to AI development. Let's work together to make "her" valuable in the world of AI.
这三年，Ladies Who Tech也在技术赋能女性的工作上做了很多事情，从学校开始，让女孩们更多地参与到机械，编程等活动里来，让女性能突破世俗的观念，选择理工科作为自己的专业，并且也愿意在从事相关的工作，道路长远，需要每个人的努力，正如李飞飞博士和梅琳达.盖茨女士认为的那样：没有女性参与的AI研究终将走向偏见。“科技不分性别。”
In the past three years, Ladies Who Tech has been taking action to inspire and encourage women to go into STEM. We want more women to participate in engineering and coding events, so that they could break the stereotype and study and work in STEM-related fields. It's a challenging journey to achieve gender equity, one that requires everyone's contribution. As Dr. Li Feifei and Ms. Melinda Gates believe, AI research without women will eventually lead to prejudice. “Tech Has No Gender.”