Alexa, Google, Siri: What are Your Pronouns? Gender and Anthropomorphism in the Design and Perception of Conversational Assistants

Gavin Abercrombie, Amanda Cercas Curry, Mugdha Pandya, Verena Rieser

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (SciVal)
6 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Technology companies have produced varied responses to concerns about the effects of the design of their conversational AI systems. Some have claimed that their voice assistants are in fact not gendered or human-like- despite design features suggesting the contrary. We compare these claims to user perceptions by analysing the pronouns they use when referring to AI assistants. We also examine systems' responses and the extent to which they generate output which is gendered and anthropomorphic. We find that, while some companies appear to be addressing the ethical concerns raised, in some cases, their claims do not seem to hold true. In particular, our results show that system outputs are ambiguous as to the humanness of the systems, and that users tend to personify and gender them as a result.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 3rd Workshop on Gender Bias in Natural Language Processing
EditorsMarta R. Costa-jussa, Hila Gonen, Christian Hardmeier, Kellie Webster
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics
Pages24-33
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781954085619
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021
Event3rd Workshop on Gender Bias in Natural Language Processing 2021 - Virtual, Online, Thailand
Duration: 5 Aug 2021 → …

Conference

Conference3rd Workshop on Gender Bias in Natural Language Processing 2021
Abbreviated titleGeBNLP 2021
Country/TerritoryThailand
CityVirtual, Online
Period5/08/21 → …

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Gender Studies
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Information Systems
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Alexa, Google, Siri: What are Your Pronouns? Gender and Anthropomorphism in the Design and Perception of Conversational Assistants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this