We have a conscious mind and an unconscious mind.  We assume that our conscious mind is what is in control the majority of the time. 

We are wrong.  

The unconscious mind is what is running the show most of the time.  The mind that stores every encounter, action, and experience you’ve ever had.  The mind that has been imprinted and programmed based on those encounters, actions, and experiences.  

Think about that for a second.

What are we unconsciously programming?

So much of what our unconscious mind stores is not even conscious to us.  

A recent conversation with my husband got me thinking about the influence of AI devices we use in our everyday life.  

My GPS, Alexa, and Siri are the first three that come to mind. 

Each one of these AI personas is female.  Did you ever notice?  

Those devices that act as personal assistants have female voices.  

The realization of the gender bias led my husband and me to consider what we unconsciously program into our minds and children’s minds.  

Not all AI uses a female voice.

To add further fuel to this discussion, did you know that the AI that played Jeopardy has a male voice and is named Watson?   Watson is also used to assist physicians with research. 

So the AI used to do administration tasks, keep us organized and track our grocery list is programmed with a female voice, while the AI used for medical research and trivia is male.  

Unconsciously, have we programmed gender biases into our AI?  

Unconsciously, what are we reinforcing and teaching because of our programming?  

Some AI can switch voices.  However, by default, these devices come with an assigned voice, and you must consciously choose to make the change.  

Other thoughts about female AI

My husband and I have entertained ourselves by asking Alexa questions that will get funny responses.  Maybe you have done the same thing.  

At the time, it seemed innocent, but now I wonder, what am I teaching myself? Am I unconsciously teaching myself that it is ok to laugh at others, especially females when they don’t understand something or respond incorrectly to a question?  

All of my instructions to Alexa come in the form of a demand.  “Alexa, turn on the island light.”  Sometimes out of habit, I will thank her after she does the task, but I do not say please or thank you more often than not.  Saying please and thank you is a habit.  Am I programming the habit out of me?  

I also wondered how Siri and Alexa respond to sexual harassment comments.  I apologized to my AI devices in advance and then said some not nice things to them.   Alexa doesn’t even respond.  She Dings and shuts down. In comparison, Siri told me that she would not respond to that. 

Yet, you did, Siri.  You did respond. 

Have you ever been bullied?  I have.  

I can tell you that telling a bully that you will not respond or just ignoring them only makes them madder and attack you more.  

I’d love to see Alexa tell me off for being obnoxious, derogatory, and rude.  What do you think?  

I will not claim to know the answers, but I do hope I’ve created some food for thought. 

If we are programmed and imprinted based on our encounters, actions, and experiences, I think we should be asking what the impact is of AI that has become so ingrained into our everyday lives.  

I’d love to know if you have changed your AI to a male voice.  

Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.

Earl Nightingale

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