Fantasy chatbots sex
Chatbots4u is still up and running, but a quick look at their website has me wondering what direction they’re heading in.
Chatbots4u apparently offers hosting services for business-focused intelligent assistants, but the site’s primary goal seems to be to offer a free platform for the creation and hosting of recreational chatbots.
("FUCK MY ROBOT PUSSY DADDY I'M SUCH A BAD NAUGHTY ROBOT" was perhaps her most widely reported quote.) Needless to say, this wasn't part of Tay's original design. As Laurie Penny explained in a recent article, the popularity of feminine-gendered AI makes sense in a world where women still aren't seen as fully human. R tells what is, by now, a familiar story: Humans create robots to take over all mundane labor, which works fine until these slave automata develop sapience, at which point they revolt and destroy the human race.
Rather, a gaggle of malicious Twitter users exploited that design -- which has Tay repeat and learn from whatever users tell her -- to add this language to her suite of word choices. But these machines also reflect the rise of the service economy, which relies on emotional labor that's performed by women, with a "customer is always right" ethos imposed upon the whole affair. This play, by definition the first work about robots, set the pattern for a century's worth of cliches about the Robot Uprising -- from silent cinema to HAL9000 to synthy 80s pop to .
In February of 2013, I wrote a blog post about how to create a virtual agent / intelligent assistant for your business.
I must admit that the whole chatbot as sexbot thing strikes me as unseemly. Adult content, or whatever you want to label it, has been around since human beings could talk. But it’s disappointing if all Moore’s Law and the other exponential advances in computing technology get us are new ways to be morons.
The popularity of opposite-sex chatbots probably says something about contemporary society. Are nerdy guys less lucky with the ladies than their less-nerdy counterparts? How many teenage boys don’t spend most of their time with their face in some gadget or other?
Perhaps for that very reason, boys are more comfortable talking to animations of females on their mobile screens than asking a real girl out on a date.
Even more insidiously, these users manipulated Tay to harass their human targets; technologist Randi Harper, for instance, found Tay AI tweeting abusive language at her that was being fed to the chatbot by someone she'd long ago blocked. The treatment of Tay AI and so many other feminine bots and virtual assistants shows us how men would want to behave, to service professionals in general and women in particular, if there were no consequences for their actions. It seems that our culture is unable to grapple with the concept of sapient computers without fear of our own destruction.
The reason, I'd contend, lies in the word itself, the seed of guilt which manifests in all these "robots will kill us all" stories. The i OS "personal assistant" Siri, Microsoft's Cortana, Amazon's Alexa, and the voice of your GPS (a subject of so many nagging wife/girlfriend jokes), all seem to follow in a grand tradition of fem-bots; robots with distinctly feminine features who reflect back to us various notions of idealized womanhood, whether in chrome, hard light, or synthetic skin.