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Tue Sep 10, 2019, 10:13 AM

Apple programmed Siri to avoid the word "feminism" to appease RWers.

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Voice assistants, like Apple’s Siri, are included here. Consumers issue millions of commands a day to their voice assistants, who then direct internet traffic in a manner dictated by their parent corporations. This week, a damning report about Apple’s voice assistant, Siri, suggests that Apple feared that even mentioning the idea “feminism” could anger some conservatives. Alarmingly, that suggests that Apple has capitulated references to fundamental gender equality to noxious right-wing culture warriors, who have sought to paint even the faintest gains for women as intrinsic to a left-wing radical plot.

As the Guardian reports, internal documentation for Apple’s voice assistant, Siri, was edited to make sure that Siri would avoid using the word “feminism.” The move was part of an internal project to rewrite how Siri handles “sensitive topics.” Siri’s responses would ensure that the voice assistant would say it supports “equality,” but never the word “feminism,” even when asked directly about the topic.

It is damning to think that the right has gained so much ground on the culture wars that it could paint a word like “feminism” — a doctrine of equality of the sexes that has existed for hundreds of years — as a “sensitive topic.”
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Such a guideline certainly perpetuates the gender bias that female assistants shouldn’t have a point of view or believe in equality. To suggest that feminism is “controversial” is to suggest that human equality is, too. Believing that women are equal to men is not a controversial idea, but it is telling that Apple seems to think so — or perhaps have been convinced so by the current discourse around gender equality, which has been thoroughly poisoned by the right.

https://www.salon.com/2019/09/09/apple-made-siri-avoid-the-word-feminism/



Kind of makes you wonder what else is being quashed by Apple and others.

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Reply Apple programmed Siri to avoid the word "feminism" to appease RWers. (Original post)
TheBlackAdder Sep 10 OP
dchill Sep 10 #1
Guilded Lilly Sep 10 #2
frazzled Sep 10 #3
Quackers Sep 10 #4
Proud Liberal Dem Sep 10 #6
frazzled Sep 10 #7
Proud Liberal Dem Sep 10 #5
lostnfound Sep 11 #8
NurseJackie Sep 11 #9

Response to TheBlackAdder (Original post)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 10:27 AM

1. Siri will do what's best for Siri.

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Response to TheBlackAdder (Original post)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 10:42 AM

2. Any advances the feminist cause have made have done so against incredible barriers...

that go very deep into the misogynist agenda. Some so subtle or calculatingly hidden that it is mind boggling when they are revealed. The plotting only magnifies how insecure and fearful the mindset is of the anti-feminists but it also proves the immense strength of feminist concepts to have prevailed to the point they have so far.

And yeah, just imagine the advances we would/could/will have made towards all human equality and betterment without the paranoia of insidious manipulations.

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Response to TheBlackAdder (Original post)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 10:52 AM

3. I find this really curious

Asking a non-human virtual assistant whether "she" is a feminist is a fool's errand to begin with. "She" is not anything. I just asked Siri "what are the best sources on feminism?" and "she" appropriately responded with a list of seven solid websites to direct me to. That's what virtual assistants are for: to lead you to information you seek. They're a sort of card catalogue for the digital era.

Trying to probe a virtual assistant for personal information about themselves is, well, kind of demented. It's like asking the Google search engine whether it likes Coke or Pepsi. If you ask Siri about a "controversial" topic, she will give you a referral. She won't give you an opinion.

I think this article is on the verge of trafficking in conspiracy thinking. There is merit in asking why virtual assistants almost always have female voices. That's legitimate. But this seems like it's taking the issue too far ... frankly, out into lala land.

And yes, I am FEMINIST AF.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #3)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 10:59 AM

4. Just an FYI

Siri is managed in settings as to whether the voice is male or female or if Siri has an accent. Good post!

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Response to frazzled (Reply #3)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 11:07 AM

6. Apparently, APPLE doesn't realize this

if they were going out of their way to specifically program this word out of Siri

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Response to Proud Liberal Dem (Reply #6)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 11:17 AM

7. All of the responses I received from Siri

from my question about feminism were websites that contained the word feminism or feminist in them. Why should you demand that Siri say the word? That's not its function: its function is to direct you to answers to your query.

If a question is directed to Siri's personal stances or beliefs themselves, well, I think the problem is the questioner's, not Siri's. It's like a child talking to GI Joe and asking if he's really brave.

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Response to TheBlackAdder (Original post)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 11:04 AM

5. That's really crazy

And how is technology/social media biased against right-wingers again? If anything, it seems to be biased TOWARDS them- or at least companies try to bend over backwards not to offend the real snowflakes among us.

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Response to TheBlackAdder (Original post)

Wed Sep 11, 2019, 08:27 AM

8. Salon often slams Apple. And "it seems all humans should be treated equally" is better answer

Reframed it in broadest possible terms. Who can argue with equal treatment? It’s only fair. Maybe it will sink in. And it’s simple enough for a child to understand.

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Response to TheBlackAdder (Original post)

Wed Sep 11, 2019, 08:32 AM

9. "Siri: define FEMINISM."

(I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.)

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