Gendering AI boils down to business. Customers interpret these AI personalities through the lens of their own biases. Whether its stereotypes about women in service roles, the desire for a female companion, or simply that feeling of trust that a woman’s voice instills, female AI personalities are easier for most consumers to adopt. And adoption is the ultimate goal for tech companies that want to make AI mainstream.
You may think you choose to read one story over another, or to watch a particular video rather than all the others clamouring for your attention.
But in truth, you are probably manipulated into doing so by publishers using clever machine learning algorithms.
The online battle for eyeballs has gone hi-tech.
Every day the web carries about 500,000 tweets, 300 hours of YouTube video uploads, and more than 80 million new Instagram photos every day. Just keeping up with our friends' Facebook and Twitter updates can seem like a full-time job.
So publishers desperately trying to get us to read and watch their stuff in the face of competition from viral videos and pictures of cats that look like Hitler are enlisting the help of data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI).
But do these technologies actually work? A question of timing
Recent start-up Echobox has developed a system it says takes the human guesswork out of the mix. By analysing large amounts of data, it learns how specific audiences respond to different articles at different times of the day.
It then selects the best stories to post and the best times to post them.
The main hypothesis advanced by Gracia and Merlo – and it’s only a hypothesis – is that high gender equality might create a backlash effect among men, triggering high levels of violence against women.
"The main hypothesis advanced by Gracia and Merlo – and it’s only a hypothesis – is that high gender equality might create a backlash effect among men, triggering high levels of violence against women."
".. This is known as the risk compensation effect, and it refers to the fact that people tend to take increased risks when using protective equipment. It’s been found among bicycle riders (people go faster when wearing helmets), taxi drivers and children running an obstacle course (safety gear leads kids to run more “recklessly.”) ...
Akerlof and Shiller use the word “phish” to mean a form of angling, by which phishermen (such as banks, drug companies, real estate agents, and cigarette companies) get phools (such as investors, sick people, homeowners, and smokers) to do something that is in the phisherman’s interest, but not in the phools’. There are two kinds of phools: informational and psychological. Informational phools are victimized by factual claims that are intentionally designed to deceive them (“it’s an old house, sure, but it just needs a few easy repairs”). More interesting are psychological phools, led astray either by their emotions (“this investment could make me rich within three months!”) or by cognitive biases (“real estate prices have gone up for the last twenty years, so they’re bound to go up for the next twenty as well”).
magine that (for some reason involving cultural tradition, family pressure, or a shotgun) you suddenly have to get married. Fortunately, there are two candidates. One is charming and a lion in bed but an idiot about money. The other has a reliable income and fantastic financial sense but is, on the other fronts, kind of meh. Which would you choose?
Sound like six of one, half-dozen of the other? Many would say so. But that can change when a third person is added to the mix. Suppose candidate number three has a meager income and isn’t as financially astute as choice number two. For many people, what was once a hard choice becomes easy: They’ll pick the better moneybags, forgetting about the candidate with sex appeal. On the other hand, if the third wheel is a schlumpier version of attractive number one, then it’s the sexier choice that wins in a landslide. This is known as the “decoy effect”—whoever gets an inferior competitor becomes more highly valued.
The decoy effect is just one example of people being swayed by what mainstream economists have traditionally considered irrelevant noise. After all, their community has, for a century or so, taught that the value you place on a thing arises from its intrinsic properties combined with your needs and desires. It is only recently that economics has reconciled with human psychology. The result is the booming field of behavioral economics, pioneered by Daniel Kahneman, a psychologist at Princeton University, and his longtime research partner, the late Amos Tversky, who was at Stanford University.
Merely touching money has the power to alter our behavior. Money makes us more selfish, less helpful, and less generous towards others. One experiment, for example, had a pedestrian drop a bus pass in front of people who had just gotten money out of a cash machine or merely walked past the machine. People who had gotten money out of the cash machine were less likely to alert the woman that she had dropped her pass. While money can hamper helpfulness, it also confers psychological advances in the form of making people more persistent and more successful at solving challenging problems.
Our own research reveals that handling money can trigger all these behaviors, in different cultures, at a surprisingly early age—3 years-old. Even the very young are less likely to lend a helping hand, after touching money, or to work harder at solving challenging problems like correctly solving a labyrinth. And, all this happens despite a relative lack of experience with money or knowledge of its value. Money has the power to shift behavior in desirable and undesirable ways even before children can understand that a dime is worth more than a nickel. We were surprised to discover that an everyday occurrence around the world—simply touching cash—can trigger changes in behavior so early on in life. These findings could have implications for achievement, generosity and interpersonal harmony.
We documented the effects of money on young children’s behavior in a series of experiments. In one experiment, we instructed some children to sort money by denomination, while others sorted buttons by color. They then went to a different room where their performance on a difficult task was put to the test. They were given a maze to solve and were told they could quit at any time. Money sorters worked longer and were more successful at solving the maze than button sorters. In another experiment, 3 year-olds sorted coins and banknotes, or buttons and paper slips, before moving to a different room. There they met an experimenter who asked for their help readying materials for the next child she would test. She gave them a basket and asked the children to bring her as many red crayons as they could from a box in the far corner of the room. Money sorters were less helpful, overall, than button and paper sorters.
Most of us like to think that we have moral standards, and there may be a psychological reason why.
A study published (paywall) today (May 16) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicates that when we act unethically, we’re more likely to remember these actions less clearly. Researchers from Northwestern University and Harvard University coined the term “unethical amnesia” to describe this phenomenon, which they believe stems from the fact that memories of ourselves acting in ways we shouldn’t are uncomfortable.
“Unethical amnesia is driven by the desire to lower one’s distress that comes from acting unethically and to maintain a positive self-image as a moral individual,” the authors write in the paper.
George Akerlof and Robert Shiller believe that once we understand human psychology, we will be a lot less enthusiastic about free markets and a lot more worried about the harmful effects of competition. In their view, companies exploit human weaknesses not necessarily because they are malicious or venal, but because the market makes them do it.
But just as we should avoid importing existing gender and sexual biases into future technology, so we should also be cautious not to import established prudishness. Lack of openness about sex and sexual identities has been a source of great mental and social anguish for many people, even entire societies, for centuries. The politics behind this lack of candor is very damaging.
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