William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

ANOTHER EDUCATIONAL BREAKTHROUGH – FROM COLLEGE FIX: An upcoming event at Cornell University will cover “Robo-sexism,” a discipline which explores the intersection of technology, gender and sexuality. The event will be led by University of Michigan anthropology Professor Emerita Jennifer Robertson, a leading scholar in the field. It will delve into the sex-gender stereotypes and operational functions informing the design and embodiment of artificial intelligence and robots. And, in particular, that link in “humanoids and androids,” according to the event’s website. It is titled “Robo-Sexism: Gendering AI and Robots” and is scheduled for April 22.
“Robots have been imagined, designed, and deployed in rhetorical and tangible forms alike to reinforce conservative models of sex/gender roles, ethnic nationalism, and ‘traditional’ family structures,” the event description states, adding Robertson will consider the ramifications of such “retro-tech.” When asked by The College Fix via email to describe robo-sexism, Robertson said the discipline is rooted in an industry practice in which technology designers assign human genders to non-human objects. “I define ‘robo-sexism’ as the practice among roboticists, whether intentional or unintentional (from indifference or ignorance), of designing humanoid robots on the basis of essentialized and reductive stereotypes about human females and males,” Robertson said.   I'm so glad the academic world is confronting this.  What kind of a country would we be if we permitted sexist robots?  Please think about that.  This is the new climate change.

March 23, 2022