Your True Intelligence
IF YOU WANT TO GUARANTEE GROWTH, PROSPERITY AND AN INCLUSIVE,
DIVERSE COMPANY CULTURE, GENDER INTELLIGENCE MUST BE PART OF YOUR
Imagine the world’s most popular manufacturer of mobile devices
and technology. Every day, this company sells millions
of pieces of technology, having spent years to ensure its perfection.
One day, a news story breaks concerning the way that
technology responds to some very specific questions. Users can
tell their technology that they might be having a heart attack;
that technology tells them where the three nearest hospitals are
and asks if it should call the user an ambulance. Users can also
tell their technology that they’ve just been raped.
Their technology tells them that it doesn’t understand. Cue a
news story going viral, and not in a good way.
That is a summary of an actual situation involving Apple’s Siri
technology and how it responded to the experience of its various
users. It’s also a perfect example of the critical importance of gender
intelligence. (Siri technology has since been updated.)
THE GIST OF GI
We all carry biases with us every day, whether we’re conscious
of them or not. Siri’s response to a user being raped was likely
based on the bias – or, put another way, the life experience – of
the developer(s) who wrote the original response code, people
whose life experience didn’t necessarily involve the potential to
be raped. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National
Network), 90 per cent of American adult rape victims are female.
With that in mind, one could argue that had Apple employed
more women on their Siri technology development team, then
the Siri response fiasco could have been avoided and users who
had been raped could have been given a much more intelligent
and helpful response.
For decades, our society has been fighting gender bias in
the workplace, pay equity arguably being the most prominent.
By Jess Campbell
pathdoc / Shutterstock.com
HRPROFESSIONALNOW.CA ❚ AUGUST 2017 ❚ 33