Are machines feminine?

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Video in TIB AV-Portal: Are machines feminine?

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Are machines feminine?
exploring the relations between design and perception of machines and the dynamics in between
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Why do navigation systems have feminine voices? We know Tay, Eliza, Siri not only as female names, but also as chatbots and software, which directly interact with humans. Although computer programs are per se genderless, gender seems not to be cancelled out in human-machine interaction, but why?
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[Music] get to be here to 35th Congress today we have a lecture regarding something that interests me particularly very well since I am I am as well very keen to give my toys two cents to cars computers and whatever surrounding me a name and so we're gonna discuss actually we're gonna have a lecture that's called our machines famine I don't know how it exactly comes but most of my machines are feminine as well my car I'm a computer and once in a while I have to touch them and really treat them well maybe that's kind of behavior that I have towards these things then it's maybe as well because of my twisted mind that I consider these machines as being you have to take care about them otherwise I can do really weird things but this lecture then is actually about exploring the relations between design and perception of machines and the dynamics in between the lecture is provided by Polaris and she will take it's she in this case and I may say she will take actually an angle at the examination about how we map gender on computers and machines we will look a little bit into the software in machine human interaction I saw a really interesting field there the relationship in between and very well we will take a little bit deeper in the cultural history of imagining and building human-like machines I would love to see Belarus here on stage please ladies and gentlemen give her a warm welcome [Applause]
thank you all for coming today I know it's early and it's on the last day so I
appreciate that you're here on the other side I do feel a bit pressure to make your time worthwhile as much essentially in as such in the hour and the day so let's start I would like to introduce someone to you this is my assistants ducky I will come back to him if I stumble my words or if I'm too nervous then he will bail for me so let's go get going with the talk our mission is feminine why did it ask that question I
observed that in cars smartphones and computers when we have voice synthesis that a lot of these voices tend to be
female I wondered about that because machines per se do not have a gender on which we could map that to although one could argue what is gender we might get to that point later on and before I start off with my short take on history two disclaimers one I cannot talk about the entirety of how we relate gender to machines that's a really big field so I
have narrowed it down in this case on voices because this is something I know more about and secondly I will talk about some movies and books I will spoil all of them I'm sorry but I am very appreciative view of your attention or most of the time but particularly in that case you can just let it slip if you don't know if you don't want the thing spoiler that I mentioned let's begin with some history
anthropomorphizing machines is by no means something new this is a painting by John Lyon even a French artist who which depict a story from Greek mythology called Pygmalion and Galatea and this story is about a guy with Molly on who is disappointed by all of womanhood yet they really don't live up to his expectations might be because of his expectations and therefore he goes into his workshop he's a sculptor and he makes his own perfect woman out of marble but well I didn't think he thought that through to the end because she can't love him back she's a stone and then he despairs and he cries and the goddess Aphrodite has mercy with him and lets this stone woman come to life and they have live happily every after so I think doesn't it that's not as
common in Greek mythology so that's that's a point that what this story depicts here is a trope that I would say I found again and again in science fiction of the later centuries where we have a masculine creator that creates a feminine creation or machine what you
see here are actually two examples from technological history the thing on your left is a so-called Kohaku in India that is I I guess I butchered that pronunciation but I try this is an automata from the 17th century in Japan these were small figures that could move around when you put a little teacup onto the plate that the work they were holding then an internal mechanism would get them going and they would roll across the room to the guest you wanted to serve your tea - on the other hand side we see another kind of automata this one is called the Guru tempeh no it was a music making up automata and she had kind of a dulcimer that's the instrument is called it's something like a piano just without the keys and you would just like tap on the strings what I already found interesting about these machines
it really usually are at the beginning clockwork clock works that were just we had clocks and then the engineers who built them made little figures that would also be powered by the clockwork and would move around and then this got innovated more and more and to the point that we had figures that were do other things than telling the time from this epoch we have automata which can play the piano which can draw things and we can also write things roughly the same
time looking at literature how these machines were imagined on your left side we have des animaux or the sandman from ETA Hoffmann which is mostly a story about childhood and fear but it also features a protagonist called Nathaniel Nathaniel who falls in love with a woman she she doesn't really respond to him she doesn't really speak with him maybe she's not the talkative type but they danced together they play piano together she's a bit stiff and in the end he recognized oh no it's a machine it's not really a woman bills buy the antagonist of the story on the other side we have tomorrow's Eve although I'm not very happy with the themes that are the way that the themes are played out in this story I think it's fascinating because to me it seems something like the first science fiction fan fiction of its time it features Thomas Edison who builds a robot girlfriend for an Englishman he owes a favor to and this was at the time where Thomas Edison was still alive yes
this edison who built the light bulb and again in these stories you see this i or i see the stereotype of like the masculine inventor who builds a feminine machine to serve his needs or execute his commands roughly at the same time mid of the 19th
century we have this little thing this is the euphonium and this is one of the earliest speaking machines this device tried to emulate how humans speak on a mechanical level for that I would
shortly explain how speaking as such
works on a very rough basis you take air into your lungs and then you push it through the larynx and there you have the vocal folds which which start to
vibrate vibrate and this vibration then propagates further into the pharynx and into the oral cavity and there you have all different kinds of things like the tongue and the teeth and the lips which then form the sound that is then expelled through it through your mouth where's encode which encodes information which lets me communicate with you right now how did this work with the euphonium
we had a bellows over there that was something like a lung that would then expunge air in the direction of this tube I think I'll go back to the other
picture that was nicer yeah you can see
it a bit more clearly where you'd had something that imitated the vocal folds which would start vibrating and then would be expelled here through this kind of synthetic mouth which also featured a synthetic tongue which then would form the sounds that were produced by this machine what I again thought is
memorable is on top of that mouth that you had which was had a mechanical function you had a head modelled around this and to me this again looks rather feminine maybe this inventor he's called father was a German immigrant in the US was inspired by the literature that came before maybe he designed this to his own whims we don't know sadly this machine was destroyed in a fit of rage by its inventor because it didn't get the appreciation from the public that he had hoped for going further through time now
with the new media of film we still have the same trope which can be seen in Metropolis short silent film masterpiece directed by Fritz Lang the basic story is of a big metropolitan city that is
reigned over by a big capitalists boss called Clarizen and a working class which keeps the machines of the city and the city is said running and we have the son of that capitalist bus of everything Frieda who descends down into the lower parts of the city and discovers the workers and tries to get to help them because the one-woman mafia from that part of the city starts a workers revolution against the guys above an answer to this clear lesson reaches out to an inventor who has built a robot you can see it here in the film it's called damn machine and men like the Machine human and it gets further modified the inventor captures Maria and then forms the robots in her image which is then used to subvert the workers uprising and again we have here the trope of a masculine inventor using a feminine creation to execute his will at
the same time coming back to technology I think this this is a switchboard and these are switchboard operators at this time the telephone was in not invented but man really got it getting into use and I think this is important or concerning this talk because I can imagine this being the first time when you use a machine and it speaks back to you in a feminine voice then of course we could asking yet why do we have mostly women in this switchboard positions one reason is like in the telegraph system that was important during the war most men at that time were being out at the front fighting and then these positions that got em were empty in communication Telegraph and telephone systems were then filled up with women after the war this really
didn't change I heard from people that this was because of the signal processing that because of the noise on the on the wires you would understand and discern higher pitched voices more easily than lower pitched voices I think that's and that sounds like a good story but I didn't find sources for that and also think that there are other reasons that are more probable one rather important one is that you could pay a female switchboard operator a half to a quarter of the salary of a man and of course they will also perceived as being more hospitable more polite and more sort of serving to the customers now
getting closer to voice synthesis this is the 1939 presentation of the voter this is a very early speech synthesis device that was developed by Bell Labs and it's interesting because here we
have not the mechanical generation of sound that we had before in the euphony our device but here we have a one that is powered by two oscillators which then modulate the signal that sounds more which which sounds the most close to what how human speech sounds like but this still again was operated had needed operation by someone you had a kind of keyboard that you had to press and learn how to control - exactly modify the signal that was generated to have the speech that you want
[Music] crazy all for the love of you it won't be a stylish marriage I can't afford a carriage but he looks me up on CEDAW bicycle made for two it's might sound familiar
hope that was discernable so why do I bring up this example when I wanted to
talk about feminine machines the thing about the voter in the 50s Arthur Sze Clark visited Bell Labs and he encountered just that speech synthesizer that could sing that way and he was so impressed by this that he took inspiration from it and as you've seen took the song that could be somewhere the voter and implemented it in the script for Hal 9000 it was okay how long a thousand also sounds pretty masculine why is this important for this I would argue this plays a role because how month I wasn't was one of the earliest and very present speech synthesizers or speech synthesis system that was in the public of course not in use but in the popular movie 2001 a Space Odyssey that was I think came out 1969 and I can imagine that developers that later wanted to develop speech synthesis system tried to avoid masculine sounding voices computerized voices to avert an association with the character of Hall 9000 which is the antagonist of this story I think this is one of the points that really got me excited in the research for this because here we have technological innovation having an impact on how science fiction portrays machines and we'll have that later again but the other way around
coming to contemporary science fiction I could talk a lot about feminine machine characters in science fiction and movies but I'm sorry that would be a whole mouthful I could do a whole talk about this so I'd rather stay with two examples that are more relevant for this topic one of them latest published movie is called ex machina where we have this book Mariana Galatea setting overall again we have Nathan CEO of big tech company big data big boss whatever who sits in his bunker home somewhere in Norway only reachable by helicopter and is working on his own sentient machines spoiler sorry he has only one but he has multiple and Oh Rawdon surprise they look pretty curvy and feminine I would argue and then he invites one of his top programmers
that's Colette to have him executed Turing test on Ava that's her name of course this is not really a Turing test because he knows beforehand that she's a machine and what this is really about okay the Turing test is also about deception Davis actual purpose is to execute Nathan's experiment to look if she can manipulate car lept into helping her escape from this facility facility in which Baron and whoops that actually happens and she stops her creator and she leaves cartlett behind to die and is free to the world on the other hand side maybe but contrasting narrative is Spike
Jonze film her where we have the protagonist here ducky Theodore thanks ducky yes protagonist Theodore who works for an Internet company ghost riding personal handwritten letters for others but this rather unhappy with his own life he was married is in divorce but he's really not ready for it and then he downloads a new operating system onto his devices which has its own
personality which is is a conscious ai and starts talking to him and what is bit different from the other films maybe is that it's not the editors which simply suppose which general this machine has but he or the character is able to choose in the beginning he's asked would you like your OS to be female or not or male he said I'd like her to be female her name is Samantha and then they go on developing a relationship growing on each other and learning from each other and I think where this is different from the other movies is that Samantha which is the name of the US then developed she develops a will of her own her own needs and decides to depart from the relationship now speaking of virtual assistants looking at what we have today and how
the virtual assistants we have are characterized here's one example from the virtual assistant Microsoft has made its called Cortana and it's not called that for by accident that they were that's inspired by a vision a video game character this is Cortana from the Halo video game series in that series she is also like personal AI assistant to the main protagonist Master Chief and here again we find that phenomenon that we had before with Bell Labs and arthur c clarke just the other way around here technology companies who develop these devices are inspired by what has already been done and developed in science fiction now so far I've always talked about how these voices are feminine or that these machines are female this is
something I have to say about this going after Judith Butler gender is
performative and so none of these voices or devices are inherently female when you kind but what they do is they perform a certain kind of femininity and I also want to stress that there's not one femininity but it's there's a huge range of amenities that can be performed and these devices are designed to rather narrow space of femininity how is that executed or how is it this designed in different virtual assistants or that's I
think that question was later on said I just forgot that thank you why would a designer choose a feminine voice over masculine voice for such an assistant I've been digging and I found a study by a former professor of communication Clifford Nass who has a ton in some work with a voice interaction or as a medium to interact with machines and computers who found that people tend to perceive female voices as helping us to solve our problems by ourselves while they view male voices as authority figures who tell us the answers to our problems I don't believe that this is anything inherent in male or female voices but of course this reflects gender stereotypes that we have in our society
adding to that not only this is a market research factor comes into it but I
think it's important to consider where these devices are used and which expectations arise from that usage my mother recently told me that she got a Google home for her apartment for what because you wanted to regulate the heating a friend of mine has an Amazon Alexa at home and what does he use ever he used it he uses it to switch on the
kitchen ventilation so it doesn't have to stand up or switch on the lights or switch off the lights at night another assistant which you might not have heard about is shale ice this is something like the newcomer after Microsoft stay shell ice is also a conversational BOTS mostly used in China or it's very popular in China at least where people interact with it day to day just as they would interact with a friend sending pictures asking what's up and just having little chitchat and what I've seen in multiple advertisements for visual assistance of people who just tell their device like hey make me an appointment next week or send a message to my boss an email and I would subsume this undersecretary work and all of these domains like domestic tasks giving advice listening doing secretary work all of this is work that we usually associate with work that women do that's why I can understand that this might be an easy choice for a designer who thinks okay people would expect in such an and work and why I'm such an environment that women do this work so I'll design my device with a female voice but it's not like adding to this performance of femininity is not only like the usage and the naming and
the design of the voice is such but it's also the interaction patterns when you ask Siri are you a woman Siri says I do not have a gender like cacti or certain species of fish other
questions in the same direction is if we ask Siri that she might tell us more about herself or who she actually is and she's evading evading and deflecting and this reminds me of a sort of vintage femininity of not making yourself seen of not being any disturbance just being there serving your function but not actually talking about yourself and being present as yourself I understand why this design decision is made because of course these devices are services
they are not personalities they just try to pretend to be personalities and that's why in their speech behavior of course when it comes to themself it comes to themselves they'll try deflecting and trying asking about other things what they can do for the consumer or the user but it's not only the behavior of the device as such but I also think that the user behavior says something about how we gender these devices I did a little
search on the video portal of my least mistrust looking because I've seen that people like to flirt with Siri and/or I don't know what you would call it if I would really call it flirting maybe starting out flirting being more creepy getting more harassing and from these answers they unsettle me because I think yes this is how you would react if you want in further engage in that conversation because this device is designed to stay serviceable to be at hands always be listening but it's also a react of a pattern of communication that I see in myself when people try to harass me harass me and also that is encoded into a gender role of femininity of not trying to be aggressive not trying to set someone back just trying to deflect in kind of very softly gently politely wiggle myself out of this out of the situation but I don't think that this is a way that you can avert harassment silence won't protect you but that something like that I think is also can also be seen in the case of Tay the Twitter bot for mention that was developed by Microsoft that was time was supposed to
be like a public Twitter bot that you could train with your own conversations and then people on message boards decided hey let's let's mess with her head and trained her to say sexist racist homophobic things of course this is all only speculation because tey was taking pretty taken down pretty quickly but I wonder if this would have happened if it was not teh but maybe Taylor I [Music]
think this quote from Jaclyn Feldman who is a new york-based writer and journalist who also wrote a terrific article on conversational BOTS this quote sums it up neatly by creating interactions that encourage consumers to understand the objects that serve them as women technologists abet the prejudice by which women are considered objects after all it must speak agreeably it must not disclose opinions or biographical information as it has none it must always answer and the answers must delight well I've been to a
lot of places that I find critical because identifying the subservient and the obedient that these machines that we use as instruments for ourselves display connecting that to the feminine for me is a bit I have difficulties with that because it perpetuates a notion of two that ferment feminine things or people are objectified already but aside next to those critical points of course I
think speech synthesizers and speech interfaces kind of really good uses I mean here we have Stephen Hawking who of course was not only visible in the public as some who has a speech synthesizer to communicate but of course also researcher and a popular science writer and much much later of course he then is someone who is displayed in the public and is able to communicate and have a voice because of these technologies another project that I found online is this one it's called cyber Galaxy Oni and it's a group of
programmers artists who try to resurrect a Georgian poet and writer on the basis of his interviews of his books I think this could be a very interesting way for education to interact and create to know more about people from the past I haven't talked about Eliza so far but I think also this device belongs in here Eliza to those who don't know was a chat
but that was built by Joseph itsn't bone and it was like a therapeutic chat bot who would mirror to you what you said you said yourself like if I said yeah I don't know it just came back from work I had a hard day and had an argument with my boss and then the program will respond your boss and it would just what let the user keep talking and talking about yourself and then coming to introspection after Viton Baum wrote this thing actually he wrote this thing to show people that machine devices could never live live up to some person with presents he then found his secretary talking to Eliza about troubles with her boyfriend and although I would agree with him that I think it's the wrong it's dangerous to assert a responsibility machine agent I do think that devices like Eliza could help with introspection when I'm conscious of the fact that this thing I'm interacting with is not a press and listening other but more like a mirror which helps me to introspect myself and of course in cars navigational systems are really handy thing when I have to get my own put my eyes somewhere else then it's neat to have a voice acting for me to give me information where to go on when where might be dangerous on the road ahead yet [Music] my criticism for this is I don't think
we should design just for what the market wants if we do this we create a self-fulfilling prophecy if we believe people like feminine voice is more then of course they will be subjected to mostly feminine voices and then of course they know that their get habituated to that and then they're like that more but they never get the opportunity to experience a greater diversity as again example of Eliza I also think it's important to not take responsibility a bit away from the users yes a feminine voice might be something that is more trustworthy but do I want to be more trustworthy in a device that sits in my home and listens to everything I say collecting data for people who maybe just want to have better marketing for me or who want to know if I'm a suspect or if we just give it right away to the NSA I don't think that voice synthesis technologies should compromise my media literacy coming back to the example with Tay or with the way that people might flirtatiously harass other conversational BOTS we teach children not to be cruel to animals of course also because we care for animal well-being but also because we don't want children to be habituated to being cruel towards animals which then made also bleed over to being cruel towards humans especially when BOTS are mostly feminine I think this applies just the same way and when I imagine of course with the Internet of Things babe maybe more and more devices will be able to we'll be able to control via voice maybe my toothbrush my mirror my fridge my car
and I feel I'm easy when I imagine that I reign about this realm of mine with all my feminine devices that are obedient to me and that serve me I don't think that helps to get away this the ever so the already presence of just objectification of the feminine and I also believe that in total the voices that we hear now or in the devices that we use should also display the diversity of the world thank you
[Music] for that maybe if you can take something
from this talk I want to give a shout out to Mozilla project called common voice where they're building at open-source speech synthesis and control
like speaking devices and also listening devices that are have broader diversity that speak in more part of voices or and also are trains to a bigger database so more people can also interact with these devices and here you can donate your voice to contribute to that database
yeah let's do that now dr. Polaris was really fine to here I'm wondering if we have some neotec something to drink if we have questions from the audience here someone yes I see some people microphone to please can you hi I've got a very quick question about sort of the idea of
emotional labor and feminist and how it plays into this this there's been some studies on how people are using increasingly tools such as Siri for for example emotional support to talk to them when they are having a bad time etc and some recent feminist research has shown that sort of men vastly over rely on women for emotional labor rather than men so do you think this a notable difference in the degree to which for example people would overuse Siri when Siri has a feminine voice for emotional labor versus Siri with a masculine voice for emotional labor as with Aliza I think I see the possibility in these devices to help with introspection but I think it's as important to reach out to your surrounding to have a sense of trust and building because giving or doing emotional labor for each other of course also enhances your relationship with the people around you with your friends or your partner that answer your question the video thinks is it I just wanted to say if I can just a very quick follow-up what I just found very interesting is that do you know if maybe any research has been done on whether or not people are using BOTS with male and female personalities different for emotional support like do you know if there's been any research done on whether or not people talk differently to for example female Siri or feminine Siri and masculine seer about emotional issues well that would be really interesting research question thank you you have to dive deeper into that I think I'm like from one there is
aggression okay do you want to comment on the one part where computer voices
are of male and often authority figure and that is in aircraft auto pilots they tell you to pull up on a bad day and that is a male voice will do to know a parrot and therefore it's an authority this may yeah thank you for that addition who of you has tools that that he or she or in Swedish trees work for the and indeed for the undefined who a few has a tool or a machine or a device or as a character I have some things none of you I'm the only one you know one is there there is another one there another one and the others they just see these are things and right I hope your Zen because then you see as well the value of it as Earth provides us well ok microphone three first I want to say thank you very much for your talk I
think it was one of the best ones are here Don the whole week I wanted to ask
if you can say something about like usually which population or which group of people can afford speech devices and
how this may interact with that this is a female kind of service like for example we have pictures of really smart home which are like for really rich people which are usually white and male and this is connected then to your smart home with always the female voice yeah maybe if you know something about that or can comment on that I would say of course like income and wealth is a factor or not I know the project where they wanted to outfit like a home for the elderly with more smart home devices but I guess of course these are more pricey so also might be more the wealthier population that can access that otherwise also as before would be an interesting research question to look into that someone on the Internet is
life out there it seems is it male/female question from internet so they choose a female voice in the
fighter jets because the pilot was statistically more likely to listen and save the aircraft and his life and the question is what is your take on that I
can other that this there is actually voice called the bitching Betty if I know about it pardon the bitching Betty these actually know the there's actually this study based on the military research for 75 ok let's let's answer the first question so what do I think about pilots rather not crashing planes that have female voices did I get it correctly okay well it's not like my car Ruby is my garbage yeah I could imagine that maybe a general plays into that that men try to be more dumb try to prove their dominance to other men and maybe that projects a male gender onto that plane they'll try to like master it up and try to prove it to the plane and maybe then they're not really that concentrating on getting the landing right just a thesis and if they hear like the soothing female voice like that is so so common in these devices they might think like oh I have a responsibility for me and also the others so I'd rather not get angry or frustrated and just get this done I don't know it's aggression there is is it the interaction with your plane is is that as well female there then in that case or a conversational advices on planes but I know that in emerging emergency situations there is a voice to try to capture the attention of the Mets female seem so but okay someone
in the audience said that it's different
in some airlines it's rather feminine or microphone do we have an answer I suppose it's anecdotal from our point of view I've heard in the Vietnam during the Vietnam War the Americans tested to the ways of grabbing the attention if somewhere if there occurred some malfunctions and anecdotally they used female voices and even the voices of the children of the pilots if they had any killed and that well given my attention and after that they could you're right two motors out of order or something purely anecdotal I was somewhat it expecting you to touch it and while I'm at it Conrad Lawrence had some studies way back in the 50s I think about attention and I think that would be interesting to take his point of categorizing categorizing the attention mechanism moves into your study as well thank you it's not something do you look up microphone 3 please thank you for your talk it was very relevant and very very good I liked it in your talking you didn't mention anything about Marshall McLuhan so I don't know if you know about him but he's he's a media theorist yes yes so one of his points is that any medium amplifies or accelerates existing human processes and in your examples you have you made a lot of good examples about the gender dimorphism in our culture throughout history so my question is maybe what sorry another another point of McLuhan is that the medium itself is more important than the content so here I will definitely be using voice Mesilla but that that seems to be about changing the content and not changing the media I wouldn't necessarily say this of course there are different ways that you can synthesize speech and the voices that are mostly using these devices have a certain fundamental frequency that is a higher-pitched or also have certain speech patterns I think tinkering around with that and experimenting to get more diversity there is would change a part of the medium or the format and not the content then do you have any ideas for other types of media that we might explore instead of this voice assistance I would say robotics is certainly also something that is subject to that when looking into it I saw a lot also like Fembots or robots that try to perform a certain femininity and also there I think why do we need this of course people design them like that because they want to use it in in the care area and in care work but I think tackling on different levels is not only a good way to go at Fredrik prejudices about femininity and female but also around masculinity of course also when we have we could also use male voices in more devices to perpetuate that yes also men can be trusted can be helpful can be polite I would suggest that we actually do something a test here with the elevators for instance in this building and change the voice and then do a kind of inquiry about it easy that puts our children boys in it then let's scream like oh no not to number two microphone one please I was I was wondering whether it might also be something maternal so
from my oppression I know some people that seem to be looking live long for the caring mother that tells them what to do and that somehow also I think this is not only for men but also for some women so um could it be also a maternal thing that these boys is a female I guess I lack the background in psychology to to really answer that also a good question maybe to look into that thank you right we go to microphone -
hey thanks for the talk it was really good I was wondering since you researched on
on the subject and you kind of gave it as a concluding thing in your talk what would be a way that we then really diversify those I mean speech synthesizers and voices that we talk to could we imagine any thoughts taking shifts and sometimes you talk to I don't know a man voice and sometimes it's a female for silent so you are should we rely on bibs and blobs rather than actual speech synthesizer talking back to you do you have any like inside on this the first answer I would give to that is I think in the beginning a consciousness about this is important to realize oh okay there's so many like devices that speak feminine to me and that might is perpetuating the idea or the notion that femininity is objectified and that these two belong together I think this is a starting point and as I said the Mozilla project is something that I was a forward to you the net my voice because I think that's a good way like have more diverse training set for maybe the some voices this is done with that the Train on that and then maybe of course trying to get this as a public yeah let's raise that number maybe today if we have the chance number three these
three um what do you think about mutual voices totally doable
uh I don't believe that we have to rely on this binary I think we already acknowledge that people do not fit in that binary why should our machines do that but usually the female of Isis are very serious type female so if you take a voice where you cannot define whether it's like a very female or very male voice because there are some people where you you hear the voice and if you don't see the person you cannot tell immediately what it if it's a male or a female person so why not just do it with the voices and then you don't even have to think about whether it's male or female I believe because at least speaking for me because of the way that I was I get when I see people the first impulse I have is try to say oh man is it a woman and then I realize like hey maybe that person just doesn't care and I think that was learning process for me and I think the same also happens with voices that in the beginning when we hear them for the first time but like is it them is it female is it male but I think through spreading a consciousness about this that this reflects also gender stereotypes we have in our society people might get more open to this and more used to this doesn't answer your question yes but I think why not use this moment now to make the world more open and then also put it back in the normal world where people don't
have to think about like gender too much maybe now it's the time when you can just do it with those voices people get used to it and then they it's not the big issue anymore if it's male or female in general but thank you yeah
number two look nice talk and I think I've what I liked about up is maybe we like female voices because they are high and we are programmed to really give our attention to female to high-pitched voices because children have mostly high-pitched voices and we are programmed to care for them for example cats also meow in high air pitch higher pitches to get our attention and maybe that's the reason why we really want to hear something like that I don't know why would you but I'm not programmed like I have a brain made of biological neurons I also thought about that this might be something that gets attention but on the other side also people that come perform a certain Authority also get attention so I think yeah it might be a point but I don't think it can it equalizes the other effects for example that we associate a lower pitch with more authority performing voice we can have one last question sir a very short question did you find any counter examples and cruel proactive female voices on automata and culture party did you find any counter examples of the thesis by some female automata of automata with female voices which act on the cruel and proactive way in some cultural artifact about like ghost in the shell major Kusanagi I think she's pretty cool and going for herself but well she's not like a voice synthesizer but what I've found is in like one of those rather creepy videos of people flirting with Siri I found one example where see we then just responded after being harassed all the time like okay that's it I'm going to the digital agents Union and reporting your harassment I was like yes which engine you put this in I don't want more of that Polaris thank you I would love to actually I would love to do a call to change the voices in the elevators here and really to have a test X here it would be really fun man well thank you for your fantastic talk I'm really looking forward to whatever we're gonna do with Thank You audience as well give a warm applause as well to Polaris
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