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The Smart Wife
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A bold dive into the problematic development (and developers) of "smart wives"--feminized digital assistants who are friendly, sometimes flirty, docile, efficient, occasionally glitchy, and perpetually available.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
1 MEET THE SMART WIFE 1
2 ROSIE 23
3 PEPPER 49
4 ALEXA 79
5 HARMONY 109
6 BITCHES WITH GLITCHES 145
7 BOYS AND THEIR TOYS 175
8 THE SMART WIFE REBOOT 205
A Note on Methodology 229
Notes 233
Index 291

About the Author

Yolande Strengers is Associate Professor of Digital Technology and Society in the Emerging Technologies Research Lab at Monash University, Melbourne. Jenny Kennedy is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University, Melbourne.

Reviews

"Provocative and engaging! The Smart Wife is a timely and wideranging examination of smart home technology and the Internet of Things that is sure to draw you in."
- Genevieve Bell, Distinguished Professor and 3A Institute Director, Australian National University; Senior Fellow, Intel Corporation

"Many readers may have wondered why their virtual assistants speak in female voices. Strengers and Kennedy document the many ways in which the same old gender stereotypes and inequalities have shaped wouldbe futuristic technologies - and ask whether a better smart home could be built to address our crises of care."
- Moira Weigel, Founding Editor of Logic magazine

"I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's full of insight with some jaw-dropping moments and really thoughtful research. The pace of technology really does require smart humans to keep an eye on it all and that is exactly what the authors have done."
- Annabel Crabb, writer and presenter, ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission)

"This fascinating exploration of AI asks what the assignment of gender of its devices says about the societies they are meant to help."
- Shelf Awareness

"Alternating humor with cogent analysis, this book presents a thoughtful reflection on virtual assistants and their increasingly pervasive role in society... [The Smart Wife] provides an illuminating exploration of past technologies and a useful road map for the future."
- Choice

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