Men are far less likely to say this when talking to their smart speaker than women are. Can you guess what it is? After all, there are some obvious social differences between men and women that could come to mind.
According to recent Pew Research findings, women are much more likely than men to say “please” to their smart speaker or virtual assistant. On average, women reported that they say “please” about 65 percent of the time, while men only came in at 45 percent.
This tracks along with sociological research, which shows that women are conditioned to be more polite, while men are often conditioned to be more aggressive and assertive. However, some researchers have suggested that something more sinister could be at play.
Some researchers have argued that the common theme of coding AI voices as female-sounding could result in male responders being ruder towards them. Research has shown that men, on average, are ruder to women than they are to men. Conversely, women are kinder to men than even other men are, on average.
A UN report last year found that “Because the speech of most voice assistants is female, it sends a signal that women are … docile and eager-to-please helper.” However, some people are unconvinced that this is the only thing at play in this difference in attitude toward the technology.
Others have argued that men are often conditioned to see technology as something they should be mastering from a young age. After all, the computer science field is overwhelmingly male, as is the world of programming and engineering. Some believe that this could account for some of the perceived “rudeness” to the AI.
In essence, men could be more likely to see their AI smart assistant as a tool, a piece of technology without emotions and something that they use, like a tool. Women, on the other hand, could be more likely to empathize with the human-sounding technology, and thus are kinder in their speaking tone with the AI.