Rather, a gaggle of malicious Twitter users exploited that design — which has Tay repeat and learn from whatever users tell her — to add this language to her suite of word choices. But these machines also reflect the rise of the service economy, which relies on emotional labor that’s performed by women, with a “customer is always right” ethos imposed upon the whole affair. This play, by definition the first work about robots, set the pattern for a century’s worth of cliches about the Robot Uprising — from silent cinema to HAL9000 to synthy 80’s pop to .Even more insidiously, these users manipulated Tay to harass their human targets; technologist Randi Harper, for instance, found Tay AI tweeting abusive language at her that was being fed to the chatbot by someone she’d long ago blocked. The treatment of Tay AI and so many other feminine bots and virtual assistants shows us how men would want to behave, to service professionals in general and women in particular, if there were no consequences for their actions.***The word “robot” comes to us from the Czech word “robota,” which meant forced labor in the manner of serfdom. It seems that our culture is unable to grapple with the concept of sapient computers without fear of our own destruction.But that branding, which positioned her as an “artificial intelligence,” was enough to make Tay susceptible to our cultural narrative about the thinking machine.During the live BBC broadcast of Head Squeeze about the Loebner Prize Competition ” The response made mention that two of the four finalists this year were male in character, and the conversation then took a different direction.The whole point of having a digital assistant is to have it do stuff for you. But it still sounds like a bit of a reprimand whenever I hear someone talking to an Amazon Echo.
It’s all part of a cultural climate where pilots call the feminine voice of their automated cockpit warnings “Bitching Betty,” and addressing sexualized queries to Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana is practically a way of life for some.And to activate the Echo, you first have to say: “Alexa.” As in, “Alexa, play rock music.” (Or, more pointedly, “Alexa, stop.”)The command for Microsoft’s Cortana—“Hey Cortana”—is similar, though maybe a smidge gentler.Apple’s Siri can be activated with a “hey,” or with the push of a button.Who knew a hipster cat would be the voice of reason?By the time she started saying “Hitler was right I hate the jews,” people had started to realize that there was something wrong with Tay.