The Gendered Nature of Chatbots

Ashcroft, Alice and Ashcroft, Angela (2023) The Gendered Nature of Chatbots. In: Trends, Applications, and Challenges of Chatbot Technology. IGI Global, pp. 36-78. ISBN 9781668462348

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The majority of chatbots are built, by default, as women. In doing so, dangerous stereotypes and behaviors are perpetuated by those responsible for designing the chatbots, and ultimately the users. It is therefore crucial that gender identity and expression are well understood by all those involved in designing the chatbots. This chapter explores this alongside a literature survey regarding feminist methodologies, anthropomorphism, and authenticity to put forward three recommendations. That those responsible for building chatbots should keep up to date with research, look to widen the diversity of their own team, and to integrate ethics in their design processes. Only in doing so will chatbots that are fit for purpose be built.

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