“Even artificial intelligence robots face stereotypical sexism in the workplace”

Kelly O'Rourke

As the New York Times pointed out

last year, various email inbox assistants are called

Clara, Amy, Julie, Crystal, Jeannie, Cloe, Dawn, and Donna.


Siri, Alexa, help desk robo-voices and our GPS navigation

systems all perform what are essentially service tasks,

administrative roles typically associated with women.


People prefer to hear a masculine-sounding voice

from a leader, according to research —

so Watson got a male voice.


The Spot also includes Amazon's ESP feature,

so that only the Echo device closest to you

will respond to your command


(key if you're living

with multiple Alexa

devices under one roof).


(Little) Henry also said the cool thing about Alexa

is that “she is one of those kind of electronics

that gets smarter and smarter the more you use her.”

“Even artificial intelligence robots face stereotypical sexism in the workplace” borrows its title from a news article of the same name by Olivia Goldhill published on May 15, 2016 on www.qz.com. Lines from several other pieces by Ry Crist, Kurt Schlosser, Chandra Steele and Marie Glenn are borrowed for this poem.


Sources Directly Cited


Even artificial intelligence robots face stereotypical sexism in the workplace. By Olivia Goldhill, May 15, 2016. https://qz.com/684879/even-artificial-intelligence-robots-face-stereotypical-sexism-in-the-workplace/


Amazon Echo Spot review: Alexa's touchscreen misses the sweet spot. By Ry Crist, January 16, 2018. https://www.cnet.com/reviews/amazon-echo-spot-review/


Boy meets artificial girl: My son got an Echo Dot, and here’s what he’s saying to Amazon’s Alexa. By Kurt Schlosser, March 20, 2017.



The Real Reason Voice Assistants Are Female (and Why it Matters). By Chandra Steele, January 29, 2018. https://medium.com/pcmag-access/the-real-reason-voice-assistants-are-female-and-why-it-matters-e99c67b93bde


Few good men: Why is the growing population of AI voices predominantly female? By Marie Glenn, March 2, 2017. https://www.ibm.com/blogs/insights-on-business/ibmix/good-men-growing-population-ai-voices- predominantly-female/

Kelly O'Rourke received her MFA in Creative Writing with a concentration in Poetry and MA in English at San Francisco State University. She has published poems in HCE Review, The A3 Review, The Hong Kong Review, Crab Orchard Review, South Florida Poetry Journal, Red Earth Review, Slaughterhouse Magazine, Poet's Haven Digest, Snapdragon Journal, Transfer Magazine, Holy Sh*t Journal and Blue Collar Review.