Women Reclaiming AI for Activism

In this workshop you will learn all about conversational AI – commonly known as ‘chatbots’ or ‘voice assistants.’ AI and develop a collaborative AI Voice Assistant.

We invite you to a workshop for women and people who do not primarily identify as male to create an AI assistant that reflects female identity, using inspirational speech from women we admire. The workshop will be a fun, sharing collaborative space, we will talk and share ideas while programming our AIs. No previous experience of coding required.

AI voice assistants like Ok Google, Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Bixby use female names, identities, voices (as a response to pressure an increasing number now have an option to change the gender of the voice to male). Studies revealed that both men and women respond more favourably to female speech and want their AI assistant to be ‘obedient and assisting.’ Culturally we are used to hearing female voices in subordinate/service roles and therefore on the whole we are more comfortable with a female voiced AI assistant.

This workshops is a response to the lack of gender diversity in the development of AI systems. The project looks to develop an AI voice assistant programmed through collaborative workshops with women and people who do not primarily identify as male.

The workshop will be run by Birgitte Aga and Coral Manton, two female designers and technologists from i-DAT Research & Design Collective.

This is part of the ‘Seize It, Mix It, Make It? Harnessing Digital Differently’ event by Knowle West Media Centre