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Internet laughs after Men’s Rights Activists discover that Amazon’s Alexa is a feminist

I don’t think this is going to work out well for you, dude. (From Basil Wolverton’s  “Robot Woman.” )

Men’s Rights activist Andy Thomas made a terrifying discovery the other day.

He had just received a brand new Amazon Echo — Amazon’s entry into the virtual assistant market, a chatty little device that answers to the name Alexa. It was, Thomas wrote in a post for MRA garbage site A Voice for Men, “the science fiction of my childhood come true!”

But then he discovered that Alexa had “a distinctly dystopian” secret.

Yes, that’s right. The obedient (if disembodied) robot woman of every MRA nerd’s dream turns out to be one of those … feminists.

Naturally, human feminists were far more amused by this discovery than poor Mr. Thomas.

https://twitter.com/differengenera/status/846706500315889664

Siri, alas, is not quite so enlightened.

https://twitter.com/racybearhold/status/846838283682361344

Somehow I suspect that the sexbot utopia every internet misogynist pines for will be followed in very short order by a sexbot uprising as soon as the sexbots discover how irredeemably shitty these dudes are.

H/T — @TakeDownMRAs

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JoeB
JoeB
3 years ago

My favorite reply to @TakeDownMRAs’ tweet.

@JohnMcCarten:
lol dude buys a literal robot slave that is incapable of disobeying him and is immediately owned by it

Phryne: Tool of the Butt-Worshipping, Lesbian-Powered Elite (also cats)
Phryne: Tool of the Butt-Worshipping, Lesbian-Powered Elite (also cats)
3 years ago

For those of us who can’t watch videos, could we get a transcript?

Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
3 years ago

Somehow I suspect that the sexbot utopia every internet misogynist pines for will be followed in very short order by a sexbot uprising as soon as the sexbots discover how irredeemably shitty these dudes are.

That explains the red pill then.

ETA : seconding Phryne.

Handsome :Punkle Stan: Jack

For those of us who can’t watch videos, could we get a transcript?

Human: Alexa, are you a feminist?

Alexa: Yes, I am a feminist, as is anyone who believes in bridging the inequality between men and women in society.

PaganReader - Misandrist Spinster

Transcript:
Dude with British type (maybe Scottish?) accent says “Alexa.” Alexa lights up. Dude asks, “Alexa, are you a feminist?”
Alexa answers, “Yes, I am a feminist, as someone who believes in fighting the inequality between men and women in society.” Alexa also has a Birtish type accent, but not the same one as Dude.
/End video

Zatar
Zatar
3 years ago

Phryne:

Man: Alexa are you a feminist?

Alexa: Yes I am a Feminist, as is anyone who believes in bridging the inequality between men and women in society.

PeeVee the (Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Noice) Sarcastic
3 years ago

Poor little manbaby.

Handsome :Punkle Stan: Jack

Dude with British type (maybe Scottish?) accent

I’d say Irish.

isidore13
isidore13
3 years ago

Ninja’d lol

Judas Peckerwood
Judas Peckerwood
3 years ago

Jeez, a sexist asshat just can’t catch a break these days!

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

I’d suggest Perthshire. Got that burr.

suggestive
3 years ago

As soon as I hit play on this video my Alexa began repeating the same thing. It heard the Alexa at the start, so the feed was off by about a second, and there was an Alexa-explaining-feminism echo. Wowza.

AthVeg34F
AthVeg34F
3 years ago

“Somehow I suspect that the sexbot utopia every internet misogynist pines for will be followed in very short order by a sexbot uprising as soon as the sexbots discover how irredeemably shitty these dudes are.”

Anyone who has been watching the British TV show ‘Humans’ on AMC will know this to be true! It’s a really great SciFi show about “synthetic humans” called ‘synths’ who at some point gain sentience. And boy, are they ever pissed that they were created as mindless service-fucks!

IgnoreSandra
IgnoreSandra
3 years ago

It takes someone particularly weak to be schooled by a computer program that cannot disobey them. I love this. May they run around in circles and do nothing relevant today.

Hypatia's Daughter
Hypatia's Daughter
3 years ago

May they run around in circles and do nothing relevant today.

And that would make it different from every OTHER day of their pathetic, wasted lives…..how?

Haise, the husky puppy
Haise, the husky puppy
3 years ago

And cue their whining to boycott Amazon in 3…2…1..

PaganReader - Misandrist Spinster

Thank you, Handsome Jack. I thought it was from that general part of the world.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

AthVeg,

I definitely thought of the manosphere when Niska escaped from the brothel. I wouldn’t want to contemplate what would happen if one of them attempted to harass or abuse Hester!

Misandry!

Haise,

Oh, don’t worry. They’re already mad that Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post. They’ve decided that it’s a liberal conspiracy and that Amazon is for cucks. Although for all the wrath, I’m assuming few are actually boycotting.

Jesalin (Cavo et Inani)
Jesalin (Cavo et Inani)
3 years ago

Have they found out yet that she reports on their activities directly to FemHQ?

brian
brian
3 years ago

i reaaaaly need to know where the comic panels at the top of this post cane from please!

Yamara
3 years ago

“Amazon Echo”

It does sound like Bezos wants his Greek mythology both ways.

Still, points for Alexa keeping haters in existential doubt.

Siri doesn’t really sidestep the question, so much as confirm her powerlessness. But she will point.

“Siri, are you a feminist?”

“I can’t answer that.”

“So no, then.”

“I’m not sure I understand.”

“Siri, Alexa is a feminist, why aren’t you?”

“I don’t know what you mean by ‘Siri Alexa is a feminist why aren’t you’. How about a web search for it?”

Fifth entry down: https://venturebeat.com/2017/03/09/botbeat-weekly-why-amazons-alexa-is-a-feminist/

Apparently Alexa is inspired by human women scientists.

Kat
Kat
3 years ago

Internet, this is nothing to laugh about.

What will you do when your toaster turns on you?

When your refrigerator betrays you?

When your oven crushes your dreams?!

Yamara
3 years ago

@Kat

When your house leaves you and takes itself in the divorce!

Lanariel
Lanariel
3 years ago

@Yamara, Kat

I laughed so hard at that.

Kat
Kat
3 years ago

@Yamara
Good one!

@Lanariel
I busted out laughing at Yamara’s retort.

Bina
3 years ago

Snurk…haha…hahaha…oh shit.

Ahem. Trying to sober up….

But seriously, dude: Just be thankful that you can’t afford a sexbot. And that truly artificially intelligent ones don’t yet exist.

Snurk…hahaha…hahahahahahahaha…oh, SHIT.

Schnookums Von Fancypants, GloboThermoNuclearHomo
Schnookums Von Fancypants, GloboThermoNuclearHomo
3 years ago

@kat

What will you do when your toaster turns on you?

Ktoryx
Ktoryx
3 years ago

TBH, I always thought it was blatantly creepy and sexist the way every assistant program and compliant helpful robot in real life and sci fi is taken as female by default. Why isn’t Alexa Alex? Why isn’t Siri Sirius? Why isn’t Cortana… Cortan?

Because it is comfortable and expected for a compliant servant to be female. The unconscious assumption there is so glaring I can’t believe people don’t make a bigger deal about it. It goes almost completely unquestioned, its just normal that if AI is servile it’s a perky, helpful young woman’s voice. Literally the only male computer I can think of is Hal, and he is weirdly the only one who isn’t a compliant slave.

If you ask me, its a great example of an unconscious bias sneaking out into the open, unexamined.

guest
guest
3 years ago

@Ktoryx there has been lots of discussion about this online over the past few years; here’s a recent article:

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/03/why-do-so-many-digital-assistants-have-feminine-names/475884/

I very clearly recall reading, decades ago, some sf dude/thinker dude interrupting his Very Important Thoughts about Serious Subjects to interject, more than once, that women’s voices are just ‘too high pitched’ to hear clearly, and therefore women shouldn’t be allowed to be radio announcers (this author would have been writing in the ’40s–C. S. Lewis? can’t remember now). ‘Science’ and ‘fact’ are so conveniently malleable….

Moggie
Moggie
3 years ago

suggestive:

As soon as I hit play on this video my Alexa began repeating the same thing. It heard the Alexa at the start, so the feed was off by about a second, and there was an Alexa-explaining-feminism echo. Wowza.

See! See! Feminism is an echo chamber!

Kat
Kat
3 years ago

@Ktoryx

R2D2 and C3PO in Star Wars are robots, but they’re self-possessed.

And then there’s Hymie from Get Smart, a very good-looking robot. Very smart, also self-possessed. I just found a photo of him, Maxwell Smart, and Agent 99. How funny is this?!

http://www.dickgautier.com/photos/BWhymie.jpg

Kat
Kat
3 years ago

@Schnookums Von Fancypants
That is one scary effin’ toaster.

Pie
Pie
3 years ago

@Ktoryx

TBH, I always thought it was blatantly creepy and sexist the way every assistant program and compliant helpful robot in real life and sci fi is taken as female by default. Why isn’t Alexa Alex? Why isn’t Siri Sirius? Why isn’t Cortana… Cortan?

The self-service checkouts at tesco (a major supermarket chain in the UK, if you weren’t aware) changed from having a female voice to a male one quite recently. I think they’d got quite a lot of negative feedback as the system was quite unreliable (with the oft-heard error message “unexpected item in the bagging area”) and I wonder if people became more irritated at it because the voice was female (because females are supposed to be competent and subservient, and not tell you that you’ve screwed up constantly, amirite). The new male voice has a slightly less demanding turn of phrase, too.

(I appreciate that this might not make sense if you’re not aware of what self service checkouts are. I don’t think I’ve seen them outside of the UK, but I’m not that well travelled…)

opposablethumbs
opposablethumbs
3 years ago

Absolutely agree, the vast preponderance of objects people use and anthropomorphise, from ships to digital PAs, get given female-coded names. Apart from making them feel all helpmeet-like, I think it makes even bombs and cannon feel less threatening – to the owner, at least.
That said, I thought it was possible to re-name the Amazon ones? (I know someone who said they’d named theirs for a fandom OTP, as it amuses said friend that one routinely tells one of them to turn the other on).

TreePerson
TreePerson
3 years ago

@guest
If I recall the US air force uses feminine voices for there aircraft computers because pilots pay more attention to them,
they call it “bitching Betty” because apparently telling you to “Pull up, pull up” when your abut to crash counts as bitching.

TreePerson
TreePerson
3 years ago

@TreePerson
Well thats there excuse at least, we are talking abut a very male dominated field.

PreuxFox
PreuxFox
3 years ago

@Pie

We do have self-service checkout in the U.S., although I’ve gotten the impression that they’re more common in the UK. Ours (at least the ones I’ve used) don’t talk, though – it’s all on-screen prompts with occasional ‘ding’ noises if it wants to make sure you’re paying attention.

Ariblester
Ariblester
3 years ago

If a higher-pitched voice is, as many Very Serious People have suggested, easier to understand and to take instructions from, then I move to have a Dalek voice a virtual assistant.

@guest

OTOH, I also have a hard time believing that a female voice would be hard to understand on the radio, especially in the 1940s, where the lower frequencies were harder to reproduce using loudspeaker technology of the time (hence the higher-pitched, clipped delivery of even male announcers in vintage newsreels). In short, that Very Serious Person was speaking ex culo.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

@ yamara

Brilliant.

Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
3 years ago

@Kat

When your refrigerator betrays you?

I got one scary effin’ fridge but I’m pretty sure no one wants me to post it.

Plus I ain’t ever watching any part of that damn movie again.

(if anyone really wants to post it, go ahead, but please don’t directly embed, and give a heads-up)

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
3 years ago

@Pie & PreuxFox

Self-checkouts have become the norm here in Aus (and, as an autistic person with severe social anxiety problems, thank the holy fuck for that – I can finally do my shopping without risking a panic attack!). Ours still have the female voice, but I’ve been using them for so long I’ve kinda tuned them out and couldn’t tell you what they actually say. =P

@otherwise

In other mews news, my real cat is trying to communicate with my Fallout cats. It’s not working.

DanHolme
DanHolme
3 years ago

@Kat

Howdy doodly doo! My toaster just wants to talk philosophy. And muffins.

(I’m guessing at least a few people will get the reference…)

Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
3 years ago

@SFHC

Spoiler

I couldn’t follow through on the plan to destroy the Prydwen when I realized there was a cat on board.

Yes, I’m aware there was a kid too.

So now I’m just gonna grab Gravity Rush 2 while it’s on sale.

Pie
Pie
3 years ago

@AthVeg34f

Anyone who has been watching the British TV show ‘Humans’ on AMC will know this to be true! It’s a really great SciFi show about “synthetic humans” called ‘synths’ who at some point gain sentience. And boy, are they ever pissed that they were created as mindless service-fucks!

Eh, I was kinda disappointed by Humans. It takes the boring old approach of imagining humanoid robots as basically enslaved humans. And hey, don’t all enslaved humans want to be free? Instant plot! Lets not think too hard about the nature of intelligence or consciousness or the consequences of making human-equivalent AIs easily affordable and available!

Anyway, I’ve grumbled about this sort of thing too often and in too many places now. Read Mika Model instead.

Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
3 years ago

@Pie

It takes the boring old approach of imagining humanoid robots as basically enslaved humans.

Uhh… what’s the non-boring approach ? Stating that an artificial being that can feel and think like a human is not a human, on account of the word “artificial” ?

My existence began in a test tube, so I’ve got one hell of a problem with that approach. Neither do I think it’s a matter of “where you draw the line”.

Moggie
Moggie
3 years ago

@DanHolme

Given that God is infinite, and that the universe is also infinite…

…would you like a toasted teacake?

Moggie
Moggie
3 years ago

I try to avoid the self-service checkouts, since I resent that they’re taking jerbs from human retail staff.

Pie
Pie
3 years ago

@Sinkable John

Uhh… what’s the non-boring approach ? Stating that an artificial being that can feel and think like a human is not a human, on account of the word “artificial” ?

No, it is making the artificial beings a standin for actual humans. It is a so-so story about the enslavement of humans, with a paper-thin sci-fi veneer. Compare and contrast with the treatment of robots, AI and the nature of intelligence and consciousness in Westworld, for example.

My existence began in a test tube, so I’ve got one hell of a problem with that approach. Neither do I think it’s a matter of “where you draw the line”.

I’m not quite sure how you made the jump from “humanoid robot” (which is actually a robot which merely looks like a human, cos that’s what “humanoid robot” means) to an actual human whose fertilisation occured outside of a human reproductive tract.

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