Gender, Social Problems, Technology

Siri and Alexa Reinforce Gender Bias, U.N. Finds

By Megan Specia

May 22, 2019

Why do most virtual assistants that are powered by artificial intelligence — like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa system — by default have female names, female voices and often a submissive or even flirtatious style?

The problem, according to a new report released this week by Unesco, stems from a lack of diversity within the industry that is reinforcing problematic gender stereotypes.

Family, Gender, Social Problems

Japan’s Working Mothers: Record Responsibilities, Little Help From Dads. Men in Japan do fewer hours of housework and child care than in any of the world’s richest nations. That keeps women from getting better jobs and holds back the economy. Image: Kazuko Yoshida doing the family’s laundry after dinner. By Motoko Rich Feb. 2, 2019