OK, Google. We need to talk.
For that matter — Alexa, Siri, Cortana — we should too.
The tech world's growing legion of virtual assistants added another to its ranks last month, with the launch of Google Home in Australia.
And like its predecessors, the device speaks in dulcet tones and with a woman's voice. She sits on your kitchen table — discreet, rotund and white — at your beck and call and ready to respond to your questions.
But what's with all the obsequious, subservient small talk? And why do nearly all digital assistants and chatbots default to being female?
A handmaid's tale
Feminist researcher and digital media scholar Miriam Sweeney, from the University of Alabama, believes the fact that virtual agents are overwhelmingly represented as women is not accidental.
"It definitely corresponds to the kinds of tasks they carry out," she says.Read More