In House - The FindLaw Corporate Counsel Blog

Why Are So Many Company Chatbots Female?

First it was Siri, then Alexa.

Now it's Amy, Debbie, Inga, Mia, Erica, Eva, and Cora. The voice of digital assistants is predominantly female.

You can change the voice to male with some programs, but it's really about stereotypes. In the ageless words of Jessica, she was just made that way.

Stereotyped Bots

Forbes writer Parmy Olson said "female" chatbots raise concerns about stereotyping. Seriously, why do so many chatbots sound like women?

Because, Olson writes, they save companies botloads of money. According to one report, they will help save banks about $7.3 billion by 2023.

But more seriously, why do so many chatbots sound like women? Olson doesn't really answer the question, but maybe it's because they sound better?

In any case, the underlying issue is whether it's gender bias at work.

Gender Bias

John Taylor, CEO of a company that makes chatbots, says it's a matter of perception.

"Gender bias is an increasingly serious issue in chatbot design, especially for voice-based chatbots," he told Forbes. "These assistants often perform tasks that many view as menial."

He suggested software designers create more male chatbots. They may not get the job, but that's another issue.

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