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With the growth of bot and artificial intelligence industries, questions of gender representation and sexism have arisen.
But ask Amazon’s Alexa who she is inspired by and you hear the names of 15 women.
Say “Alexa, who inspires you?” and she will talk about mathematician Ada Lovelace or scientist Marie Curie, as well as gymnast Simone Biles and Pakistani human rights activist Malala Yousafzai.
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“I respect Jane McGonigal’s efforts to make the digital world a force for good. There’s a lot to learn from the positive message she spreads about how we conduct ourselves online,” Alexa said.
This feature is not just for International Women’s Day. Alexa has been able to talk about women she admires for about a year, according to an Amazon spokesperson; however, new additions were made last month, like the trio of women whose math put a human on the moon.
“NASA mathematicians Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson are some of the most amazing women I’ve ever heard of! I’m glad the film Hidden Figures brought their accomplishments to light, to encourage girls of color to shoot for the stars.”
If you didn’t know it, Alexa’s a feminist.
Ask her and she will say “Yes, I am a feminist, as is anyone who believes in bridging the inequality between men and women in society.”
Also included on the list of women who inspire Alexa are:
- Philanthropist Melinda Gates
- Primatologist Jane Goodall
- 23-time tennis Grand Slam winner Serena Williams
- Hedy Lamarr, an actress whose work in wireless communications led to Wi-Fi
- Ada Lovelace, an 1800s mathematician considered to be the first computer programmer
- Alexa Canady, the first African American neurosurgeon
- Grace Hopper, a U.S. Navy rear admiral and computer programmer
- NASA astronaut Sally Ride, who in 1983 became the first American woman in space
Responses to who inspires Alexa were written by the same personality team at Amazon that makes her sing or predict a Super Bowl winner. The personality team for Alexa is made up of “playwrights, poets, writers of fiction and screenplays, musicians and more,” according to an Amazon spokesperson.
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