Technology, Top News

Alexa is a feminist and dating guru, suddenly


A new Alexa Skill from offers sage advice for dating and expands on Alexa’s view of the world. Though according to Newsweek, she still struggles with the concept of consent.

Just days after we learned that Alexa has poor taste in beer and that the ultimate goal for developers will be for her to make her own decisions on preferences, the Match skill brings even more revelations.

The skill page declares:

“Ask Alexa all your questions as you’re getting ready for your next first date. Feeling shy? Ask some of our favourite What Ifs listed below:

What if they want to have sex?
What if it turns into a group date?
What if I have sweaty hands?”

Others might include

What if they turn out to be the second coming of Osama Bin Laden?
What if they show their dinkle in the restaurant?
What if they turn out to be Welsh?

OK, we made those three up, but she is capable of answering up to 30 questions. Problem is, some of them seem to be more fun than helpful and seem to trivialise promiscuity and drunkenness.

“What if I want more than one drink?” garners the response “Allow yourself two cocktails if they’re cute. Have six if they’re not.”

Or have 10 and just try and keep up if they’re an INQ writer.

But if asked what the definition of consent is, or indeed anything else she hasn’t been (Amazon) primed for, she gives a nonchalant ‘LOL!’

The news further perpetuates a frustrating paradigm for some users, with 17,000 people signing a petition last year claiming that Alexa, Siri and Google Now are examples of female subservient stereotyping.

Newsweek talks of a new ‘disengage mode’ that was added to Alexa without fanfare which dealt with inappropriate questions or comments rather than brushing them off.

Yeah! Virtual girl power! µ

Source : Inquirer

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