By Debrah Charatan
Have you ever wondered why so many companies program robots, virtual assistants, and AI with feminine traits? Have you ever pondered, if there were more women behind the algorithms, how AI would be different — not just vocally and aesthetically, but functionally?
Research has demonstrated a greater affinity for female voices on the part of men and women alike, prompting big tech companies like Amazon to opt for “Alexa” over “Alexander.” Still, it’s impossible to ignore the gendered implications at play, even if consumer demand drives such decisions. Why is the female voice pleasing in this context to begin with?