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brand new ugly feminism

Apple’s Siri programmed to deflect questions about feminism with carefully evasive answers

The Women’s Liberation movement, according to Apple

If you get bored one day and decide to ask your Google Home device whether it’s a feminist, it will reply forthrightly: “I’m a strong believer in equality, so I definitely consider myself a feminist.”

If you ask that same question to Apple’s voice assistant Siri, you get a much more evasive answer: “It seems to me that all humans should be treated equally.”

According to The Guardian, leaked internal documents from Apple reveal that Apple told developers working on Siri to deal with “sensitive topics” like feminism by carefully deflecting and disengaging, or simply providing factual answers from sources like Wikipedia. Because you don’t want to set those MRAs off!

The project saw Siri’s responses explicitly rewritten to ensure that the service would say it was in favour of “equality”, but never say the word feminism – even when asked direct questions about the topic. …

In explaining why the service should deflect questions about feminism, Apple’s guidelines explain that “Siri should be guarded when dealing with potentially controversial content”. When questions are directed at Siri, “they can be deflected … however, care must be taken here to be neutral”.

A true profile in courage.

H/T — r/GamerGhazi

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Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
2 years ago

@ pie

“I think therefore I…BOOM!!!”

kupo
kupo
2 years ago

@Jenora Feuer
I didn’t say anything about voice recognition being ergonomic. I’ve never used it for extended periods so I wouldn’t know about that. I responded specifically to an assertion that keyboard and mouse is ergonomic. That’s something I have used for extended periods of time and sustained personal injury from specifically because of the lack of ergonomic design, even in some of the models claiming to be ergonomic.

Amtep
Amtep
2 years ago

I wonder if it would/should answer differently to “Are you a feminist?” and “You’re not one of those feminists, are you?”

Like, should a device’s job be to please its owner? Or to be a good influence? What if they are mutually exclusive?

I can see a future where devices like this are programmed to be your friend, molding their personality to whatever it is that you’re looking for in a friend.

rv97
rv97
2 years ago

@kupo fair. And it is especially inconvenient for those with motor coordination peculiarities too. Some people are also still “hunt and peck” typers.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
2 years ago

@kupo:
Honestly, a lot of things can or can’t be ergonomic depending on who’s using them and how they’re being used. Posture can count for a lot, and once you get into bad habits it can be difficult to change them. Piano teachers used to put coins on the backs of students’ hands, and if the coin fell off you had to start over again.

Where I went to University, ‘Ergonomics’ was actually a cross-listed set of courses between the Kinesiology department and the Systems Design Engineering department. There’s a lot of work done there… unfortunately what’s actually built tends to focus more on ‘can be produced cheaply’ than on actual ergonomics, and some of the supposedly-ergonomic devices are actually worse.

Lesley
Lesley
2 years ago

I always wondered why anybody even wants a robot to answer a question like this. It’s a robot. It’s incapable of being a feminist.

I asked mine once who she was voting for for president and her response was “Elections are for humans” or something along those lines. That seems like a perfectly acceptable answer to asking a robot its “opinion” on complicated ethical and political issues.

“Hey, Google, tell me *about* feminism” should get directed to a useful, credible source, sure. But robots refusing to register opinions on fraught political questions out of hand does not bother me.

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