Conversational agents are attributed humanlike characteristics; in particular, they are often assumed to have a gender. There is evidence that gender sets up expectations that have an impact on user experiences with the agent. The objective of this paper is to explore gender affordances of conversational agents. Our examination takes a holistic approach to the analysis of the application of gender stereotypes to nine chatterbots: six embodied (three male and three female), two disembodied (male and female), and a robot embodiment. Building on social psychology research, we test the persistence of gender stereotypes in the selection of conversation topics and in the elicitation of disinhibition and verbal abuse. Our study is based on quantitative textual analysis of interaction logs. A dictionary of English sexual slang and derogatory terms was developed for this study. Results show that gender stereotypes tend to affect interaction more at the relational (style) level then at the referential (content) level of conversation. People attribute negative stereotypes to female-presenting chatterbots more often than they do to male-presenting chatterbots, and female-presenting chatterbots are more often the objects of implicit and explicit sexual attention and swear words. We conclude by calling for a more informed analysis of user interactions that considers the full range of user interactions. ⺠Gender presentation of conversational agents has an impact on user behaviors. ⺠Female-presenting agents are the targets of more sex talk. ⺠Gender stereotypes affect interaction at the relational (style) level. ⺠Agents presenting with gender increases user disinhibition.

Gender Affordances of Conversational Agents

De Angeli, Antonella
2012

Abstract

Conversational agents are attributed humanlike characteristics; in particular, they are often assumed to have a gender. There is evidence that gender sets up expectations that have an impact on user experiences with the agent. The objective of this paper is to explore gender affordances of conversational agents. Our examination takes a holistic approach to the analysis of the application of gender stereotypes to nine chatterbots: six embodied (three male and three female), two disembodied (male and female), and a robot embodiment. Building on social psychology research, we test the persistence of gender stereotypes in the selection of conversation topics and in the elicitation of disinhibition and verbal abuse. Our study is based on quantitative textual analysis of interaction logs. A dictionary of English sexual slang and derogatory terms was developed for this study. Results show that gender stereotypes tend to affect interaction more at the relational (style) level then at the referential (content) level of conversation. People attribute negative stereotypes to female-presenting chatterbots more often than they do to male-presenting chatterbots, and female-presenting chatterbots are more often the objects of implicit and explicit sexual attention and swear words. We conclude by calling for a more informed analysis of user interactions that considers the full range of user interactions. ⺠Gender presentation of conversational agents has an impact on user behaviors. ⺠Female-presenting agents are the targets of more sex talk. ⺠Gender stereotypes affect interaction at the relational (style) level. ⺠Agents presenting with gender increases user disinhibition.
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S., Brahnam; De Angeli, Antonella
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11572/91915
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