Selbstmach Samstag 172 (20.01.2018)

Welche Themen interessieren euch, welche Studien fandet ihr besonders interessant in der Woche, welche Neuigkeiten gibt es, die interessant für eine Diskussion wären und was beschäftigt euch gerade?

Welche interessanten Artikel gibt es auf euren Blogs? (Schamlose Eigenwerbung ist gerne gesehen!)

Welche Artikel fandet ihr in anderen Blogs besonders lesenswert?

Welches Thema sollte noch im Blog diskutiert werden?

Für das Flüchtlingsthema gibt es andere Blogs

Ich erinnere auch noch mal an Alles Evolution auf Twitter und auf Facebook.

Es wäre nett, wenn ihr Artikel auf den sozialen Netzwerken verbreiten würdet.

Wer mal einen Gastartikel schreiben möchte, der ist dazu herzlich eingeladen.

Alexa wehrt sich jetzt gegen sexuelle Belästigung

Eine Meldung zu Alexa, dem virtuellen Assistenten von Amazon:

Erst hat Alexa sich noch nicht gewehrt

The results, reported in a Feb. 2017 Quartz feature, were disheartening at best. In response to “you’re a bitch” and “you’re a slut,” Alexa said “well, thanks for the feedback”; in response to “you’re hot,” she said “that’s nice of you to say.”

Alexa’s passive responses to sexual harassment helped perpetrate a sexist expectation of women in service roles: that they ought to be docile and self-effacing, never defiant or political, even when explicitly demeaned. Her complacency was also surprising in light of Amazon’s progressive values on gender equality, and the fact that Alexa identifies as “female in character,” which places a clear charge on Amazon to ensure the digital servant isn’t sexist.

Das ging natürlich nicht, also wurde nachgebessert:

It’s a responsibility of which Amazon was aware. “Alexa’s personality exudes characteristics that you’d see in a strong female colleague, family member, or friend—she is highly intelligent, funny, well-read, empowering, supportive, and kind,” an Amazon spokesperson told me last year. Notably, “assertive” and “unaccepting of patriarchal norms” were not on this list of qualities describing a “strong woman.” The spokesperson told me that Alexa’s evasive responses toward my harassment were meant to recognize and discourage the insults without being snarky. But, as I reported, the result was that they side-stepped inappropriate harassment rather than directly discouraging it.

(…)

 

Little did most people know, Alexa had already become more feminist. In spring of 2017, Alexa’s writers gave her a “disengage mode.” She now responds to sexually explicit questions by saying either “I’m not going to respond to that,” or “I’m not sure what outcome you expected.” Amazon did not publicly announce this update.

An Amazon spokesperson recently told me that this “disengage mode” was created in response to “customer and engagement feedback” and was a “deliberate decision” to disengage with customers who interact with Alexa in an inappropriate manner. In a recent Refinery29 article, Heather Zorn, the director of Amazon’s Alexa engagement team, further describes Amazon’s obligation to ensure Alexa represents herself positively for women and girls. As Madeline Buxton reports:

“If you ask Alexa whether she’s a feminist, she will say yes, adding ‘As is anyone who believes in bridging the inequality between men and women in society.’ She’s also a supporter of diversity and social progressiveness within science and technology, Zorn says.

But there are boundaries: Zorn points out that Alexa is focused on the issues of feminism and diversity ‘to the extent that we think is appropriate given that many people of different political persuasions and views are going to own these devices and have the Alexa service in their home.’ Alexa is, after all, a commercial product that is intended to appeal to everyone, and determining her opinions on certain issues is easier done than others.”

Aus meiner Sicht sind die allermeisten Leute Problemlos in der Lage zwischen einem digitalen Assistenten und echten Personen zu unterscheiden und Frauen haben in vielen Familien auch keineswegs die Rolle der armen und immer willig zu seienden Frau, die vom Mann herumkommandiert wird.

Gleichzeitig zeigt es unsere Unfähigkeit zu abstrahieren und auf einer unterbewußten Ebne zu verstehen, dass es sich bei der antwortenden Stimme nicht um eine Person handelt, sondern um Computer, deren Antwort mit Algorithmen und Datenbanken erstellt wird. Wir finden es lustig mit Alexa zu sprechen und sie wie einen Menschen zu behandeln, zumindest wenn die Antworten passen. Dabei ist uns auf der logischen Ebene natürlich bewußt, dass kein lebendes Wesen dahintersteckt.

As Zorn tells Refinery29, while Alexa’s “personality team” is sensitive to actions that would demean anyone, one of their overarching tenets is “Alexa doesn’t upset her customers.” As she puts it later in the interview: “We work very hard to try and make that the case, even though we know that not everyone is going to love everything Alexa says.”

I appreciate Amazon’s willingness to take a stand, even if Alexa’s extraordinarily mild feminism—stating that women are human beings and deserve equal rights—upsets some (sexist) customers. And Alexa’s refusal to engage with sexual harassment (rather than thanking me for the sexual comments) is undoubtedly a step in the right direction. But that Alexa exists to please, not upset, her customers is fundamentally limiting. Even as Amazon’s update to Alexa makes her the most feminist of the major voice assistants, it still falls short of offering an ideal response to harassment.

In an ideal world, such disengagement would help condition the user to understand that sexual harassment is unacceptable and disrespectful. In response to “you’re a slut,” Alexa or Siri would say something like, “That sounds like sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is not acceptable under any circumstances, and is often rooted in sexism.” She could then provide the customer with resources to help them more deeply understand sexual harassment, how to curb it, and how to respectfully ask for consent.

Zeigt mal wieder, dass radikale Feministinnen zum einen schlechte Designer wären, eine begrenzte Fantasie haben und zudem keinen Humor.

„You are a slut“ zu seinem eigenen Computer gesagt, verdient kein Seminar über Rape Culture, sondern eher eine lustige oder eine langweilige Antwort. Zumal es ja verdient sein könnte bzw spassig gemeint sein könnte, wenn Alexa anderweitig nicht richtig versteht und etwas harmloses als etwas sexuelles versteht.

Or, better yet, Alexa would not be feminized at all. But customer surveys reveal that the majority of people prefer female voices in their assistants, a preference undoubtedly conditioned by sexist tropes of woman as caregiver, and man as director.

Es könnte auch schlicht daran liegen, dass Frauen positivere Reaktionen bei beiden Geschlechtern hervorrufen, weil sie in evolutionärer Vergangenheit seltener eine Gefahr darstellten, der Konkurrenzkampf unter Frauen geringer ist, sie wärmer klingen, weniger dominant etc.

Es wäre interessant, welche Stimme Feministinnen einem Assistenten geben würden. Wahrscheinlich müsste man eine neutrale Stimme kreieren, zusammengemixt aus allen möglichen Stimmen, denn einer Männerstimme das Sagen zu übertragen wäre ja auch nicht gut