Robots are the most powerful blank slate humans have ever created. A robot is a mirror held up not just to its creator, but to our whole species: What we make of the machine reflects what we are. That also means we have the very real opportunity to screw up robots by infusing them with exaggerated, overly simplified gender stereotypes. "I think of it more as a funhouse mirror," says Julie Carpenter, who studies human-robot interaction. "It's very distorted, especially right now when we're still being introduced to the idea of robots, especially real humanoid robots that exist in the world outside of science fiction."
Imagine a princess asleep in a castle, waiting for her prince to slay the dragon and rescue her. Tales like the famous Sleeping Beauty clearly divide up gender roles. But what about more modern stories, borne of a generation increasingly aware of social constructs like sexism and racism? Do these stories tend to reinforce gender stereotypes, or counter them? In this paper, we present a technique that combines natural language processing with a crowdsourced lexicon of stereotypes to capture gender biases in fiction. We apply this technique across 1.8 billion words of fiction from the Wattpad online writing community, investigating gender representation in stories, how male and female characters behave and are described, and how authors' use of gender stereotypes is associated with the community's ratings. We find that male over-representation and traditional gender stereotypes (e.g., dominant men and submissive women) are common throughout nearly every genre in our corpus. However, only some of these stereotypes, like sexual or violent men, are associated with highly rated stories. Finally, despite women often being the target of negative stereotypes, female authors are equally likely to write such stereotypes as men.
Talk to Apple's Siri or Amazon's Alexa and you'll notice a common trait: They both have female voices. While this can help make robotic assistants more relatable and natural to converse with, it has assigned a gender to a technology that's otherwise genderless. Now, researchers are hoping to offer a new alternative by launching what they're calling the world's first'genderless voice.' To create'Q', researchers recorded voices from participants who identify as non-binary, or neither exclusively female nor male. Researchers then tested the voice on 4,600 people across Europe.
I don't know much about French but I think they have some kind of weird system based on 20s. Which by the way also Danish has. If your stereotype of German is long words, you won't be disappointed. But I also think that fascination is somewhat misguided -- German (and many languages like Swedish) just compounds words when other languages would put a space in between. But anyway, speaking of stereotypes, look at the regularity of this chart.
A typical after-work scene at my house goes something like this. She chimes, then lights up. My husband says the persistent disconnect between me and Alexa is my fault--I need to pause more, speak more clearly, and maybe throw in a "please" now and then. But not long after she moved in--a necessary sidekick, I was told, to the new sound system he had installed--I started getting the feeling she preferred Bob over me, no matter how polite I was (although often I wasn't). Once she started piping up every time someone in the house called my name ("Alyssa!"),