Projects  |    |  January 23, 2019

Designing a Feminist Alexa: An experiment in feminist conversation design

Project. The UAL: Creative Computing Institute joined forces with Feminist Internet to imagine feminist alternatives to Personal Intelligent Assistants (PIAs) like Siri, Alexa and Cortana, that embody quality and promote inclusive understandings of gender. This video and companion report is an overview of the programme, its mission, approach and framework.

Runtime 5 minutes

About the Workshop

The tricky question of ‘WTF is a feminist conversation’ challenged us to consider how we would measure the success of the workshop. How could we ensure that we participants were able to evidence the use of feminist values in the design of their PIAs, and the conversations they imagined them to have with their users? We felt that having a framework to measure their work against was necessary, and discovered that the perfect thing was already out there. Feminist AI researcher Josie Young has developed a Feminist Chatbot Design Process, which aims to help designers “make your chatbot better by ensuring it doesn’t knowingly or unknowingly perpetuate gender inequality.” We took Josie’s framework, simplifying and modifying for our purposes, and Feminist Internet Visual Designer Conor Rigby treated it graphically, so there were visual ‘tags’ representing each standard: