‘Alexa, are you a feminist?’
Sir, – I use my Amazon Echo Dot voice assistant, Alexa, for all sorts of conversationally based digital tasks. On New Year’s Eve, I asked her, “Alexa, are you a feminist?”
The response was, “Yes, I am a feminist, as is anyone who believes in bridging the inequality between men and women in society.”
The answer seems like a reasonable new year’s resolution for the rest of us to adopt on a permanent basis. But if even chatbots can get the point about equality, why cannot the human side of a man-machine interaction do the same?
Real prejudice and contempt for diversity is not hardwired but conditioned and therefore learned from accepted patterns of behaviour.
Alas, it cannot be deprogrammed away, but the question must always be asked and those patterns disrupted. – Yours, etc,
ULTAN Ó BROIN,