© 2023 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Why do AI voice assistants default to female voices?

Paper art depicting a laptop computer with a robot on the screen with a chat bubble next to its head.
Carol Yepes

Have you noticed that voice assistants, like Alexa and Siri, default to having female voices? This hour we talk about how artificial intelligence is reinforcing gender biases. Plus, we’ll look at how representations of artificial intelligence in pop culture have contributed to this model.


  • Kerry McInerney: Research Fellow at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence and co-host of The Good Robot Podcast
  • Lisa Yaszek: Regents Professor of Science Fiction Studies in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech
  • Deborah Tannen: Distinguished University Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University and author of You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, among other books

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

The Colin McEnroe Show is available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode!

Subscribe to The Noseletter, an email compendium of merriment, secrets, and ancient wisdom brought to you by The Colin McEnroe Show.

Colin McEnroe, Lizzie Van Arnam, and Cat Pastor contributed to this show.

Stay Connected
Lily is the senior producer for 'The Colin McEnroe Show'. She first worked at Connecticut Public as an intern, in 2014. She has previously worked for WBUR, KUNC, and as a producer for the New England News Collaborative's weekly show 'Next.'
Related Content