Ask your phone, Echo, or computer something. Or call your bank and talk to the automated menu.

I’ll wait. Whatever you asked, a synthesized version of a woman likely answered you, polite and deferential, pleasant no matter the tone or topic.

That’s because Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and their foremothers have been doing this work for years, ready to answer serious inquiries and deflect ridiculous ones. Though they lack bodies, they embody what we think of when we picture a personal assistant: a competent, efficient, and reliable woman.

She gets you to meetings on time with reminders and directions, serves up reading material for the commute, and delivers relevant information on the way, like weather and traffic. Nevertheless, she is not in charge.

When performed by humans, these tasks have sociological and psychological consequences. So one might think that using an emotionless AI as a personal assistant would erase concerns about outdated gender stereotypes. Read more from pcmag.com…

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