"We as humans perceive women to be more empathetic than men and thus our personal assistants are very well-embodied as a female.At Leena AI, we build AI which is efficient and empathetic towards employees, no matter its own personality." Jain doesn't agree that naming chatbots after women perpetuates the stereotype of a woman in assistance or secretarial roles. Our thought process at Leena AI is to provide an empathetic and caring bot to employees.Why is a woman’s name (and voice) they default for an assistant?
However, if over the next century, chatbots continue to reinforce the stereotype that women can have things demanded of them, and that they are assistants and belong in the assistant role, it will make it harder for us to achieve our mission." The contrarian view Adit Jain, co-founder & CEO of Leena AI, the company that has designed employee-engagement chatbot Leena, thinks chatbots named after women exude many positive feminine qualities."When you are born, the first person you as a human being are close to is your mother.It is a customer-service chatbot that performs routine functions, typically secretarial, such as paying a telephone bill or checking account balance. It too performs stereotypical clerical and customer-service functions.Ironically, in India, women have reached top positions in private as well as public-sector banking but gender stereotypes persist. Initially, chatbots had to spend a lot of time responding to personal questions, flirtatious comments and handling sexual harassment.That means that we have to look not just at the way these devices are affecting how people view women now, but also at the greater long-term social impact they could have on the future," said Alaina Percival, CEO and Board Chair at Women Who Code.
"One possible solution to this is offering the option to change the gender of the voice used, as is possible with Waze, Apple’s Siri and Google’s Assistant." Talking of her own experience, Alaina said,"I am not an older man, and so people often do not perceive me as a stereotypical leader.
Another reason behind choosing the name, according to Limp, was Alexa being "a little reminiscent of the library of Alexander" which was at one time the keeper of "all knowledge".
The secretarial function that the Star Trek computer performed and the role of the librarian are traditionally associated with women.
Questions have been raised over chatbots perpetuating gender stereotyping.
Siri "behaves much like a retrograde male fantasy of the ever-compliant secretary" wrote a columnist when the chatbot was launched.
A number of leading Indian chatbots too have female-sounding names.