Smart Assistants are growing in popularity, especially since they were integrated into smartphones and laptops but their gender is still debated. Every other smart assistant barring Siri has only a female voice to digitally assist us, but are they really female in nature? Well, Alexa certainly is!
If you ask Alexa powered Echo if ‘she’s a woman’, it’ll respond with, “I’m female in character”. And if you ask Alexa that who inspires it, then you’ll hear the names of 15 women — all well-established in their respective fields.
Alexa claims to be a Feminist.
Although there is a need to introduce more male voices into smart assistants, but that’s a discussion for another time perhaps. Right now let’s check out which females inspire one of our favourite smart assistants.
They Inspired Alexa
- Ada Lovelace: Mathematician and programmer in the early 19th century. She wrote the first program for Charles Babbage’s proposed computer.
- Marie Curie: Physicist and chemist who introduced new ideas and methods towards research related to Radioactivity.
- Simone Biles: An artistic gymnast who won multiple honours in the 2016 Rio Olympics at a young age of 19.
- Malala Yousafzai: Activist for women rights. Youngest ever Nobel-prize winner.
- Jane McGonigal: Game designer and author who is also making efforts to propagate the digital world to be a platform for goodness and harmony.
- Katherine G. Johnson: Mathematician and Physicist who made contributions to NASA’s digital computing technology in its infancy.
- Dorothy Vaughan: Mathematician who worked with NASA during the launch of their first satellites into space.
- Mary Jackson: Mathematician and Aeronautics engineer at NASA. Katherine, Dorothy and Mary belonged to the African-American community and are considered early examples of success for people of the community, especially women.
- Melinda Gates: Philanthropist and co-Founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation which supports causes related to education, health and population worldwide.
- Jane Goodall: Primatologist, Anthropologist, Ethologist and the UN Messenger of Peace.
- Serena Williams: 23-times Lawn Tennis Grand Slam winner.
- Hedy Lamarr: Actress who later turned into a pioneer in wireless communications. Her invention has led to the modern day advancements in telecommunications and all things wireless.
- Alexa Canady: The first Neurosurgeon from the African-American community.
- Grace Hopper: Computer programmer who invented the first compiler for a programming language and rear Admiral of the US Navy.
- Sally Ride: Physicist and the first female astronaut to go into space in 1983.
So, if you had asked Alexa about its inspirations last year, you would probably have heard fewer names.
(H/t: Venture Beat)