RSE Curious: Designing a Feminist Alexa – An Exercise in Empathic Design

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Speakers: Professor Verena Rieser, Mark West, Fiona Linton-Forrest

Chatbots and Personal Intelligent Assistants (PIAs), such as Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, are increasingly present in our daily lives.

This workshop will look at the potential societal impact of anthropomorphising these new technologies. We will focus on their frequent personification as an obedient female and their inability to respond constructively to abusive language as a way to explore gendered AI.

This workshop will bring together interested members of the general public to design a more inclusive bot by inviting attendees to submit drawings of how they envision Alexa’s physical embodiment via a drawing challenge. The outcomes of this workshop will inform research funded by the UK Research and Innovation council.