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Archive for the ‘Gender’ tag

May 17, 2019

Fembots vs. HAL: Who are the people of AI?

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

From Watson to Sophia, who are the artificially intelligent robot personas of today, and what can they tell us about our future?

Siri. Alexa. Cortana. These familiar names are the modern-day Girl Fridays making everyone’s life easier. These virtual assistants powered by artificial intelligence (AI) bring to life the digital tools of the information age. One of the subtle strategies designers use to make it easier for us to integrate AI into our lives is “anthropomorphism” - the attribution of human-like traits to non-human objects. However, the rise of AI with distinct personalities, voices, and physical forms is not as benign as it might seem. As futurists who are interested in the impacts of technology on society, we wonder what role human-like technologies play in achieving human-centred futures.

For example, do anthropomorphized machines enable a future wherein humanity can thrive? Or, do human-like AIs foreshadow a darker prognosis, particularly in relation to gender roles and work? This article looks at a continuum of human-like personas that give a face to AI technology. We ask: what does it mean for our collective future that technology is increasingly human-like and gendered? And, what does it tell us about our capacity to create a very human future?

The Women of AI

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Dec 6, 2017

Raising the Profile of Women Futurists

Posted by in categories: ethics, futurism, human trajectories, philosophy, sex, sustainability, transparency

An Interview with Jennifer Gidley

by Tracey Follows, Founder/Director of the Female Futures Bureau

Jennifer Gidley is a former President of the World Futures Studies Federation (2009−2017), a UNESCO and UN partner and global peak body for futures studies scholarship, she led a network of hundreds of world leading futures scholars and researchers from around the globe. An adjunct Professor at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS in Sydney, futurist, author, psychologist and educator, Jennifer is a prolific author of dozens of academic papers, serves on several academic boards, and most recently authored Postformal Education: A Philosophy for Complex Futures (Springer, 2016) & The Future: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2017).

Tracey: I spoke to Jennifer about her perspective on Female Futures.

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