Hi, I’m your new desktop assistant. Fly me.

How annoying that Windows 10 did this to me just before the holidays.


Lately my new Cortana “app” has been jumping up and down when I power up, with new messages about how eager it is to serve me. Of course it’s not a person, but whatever it is, I wish it would turn itself off. I see someone else is also creeped out:

“Interacting with a fake woman assistant just feels too weird. So I shut “her” off. This Stepford app, designed to make my work more efficient, only reminds me of the gendered division of labor that I’m trying to escape.”

mr clippyAnd who could have seen this one coming:

There appears to be just one woman among the 12 combined co-founders of Siri, Julie Desk, X.ai and Clara Labs. That’s slightly worse than the nearly 17.9 percent of venture-funded companies founded by women, according to data from last year on CrunchBase. Women may be the imagined persona or voice of a product, but rarely are they the people making executive decisions.

Why does artificial intelligence need a gender?

And oh, Joy, Microsoft is also using Cortana to collect personal information about me.

HAL 2001


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