Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Fall 2019

Department 1

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


Since the eighties, feminists have considered technology a force capable of subverting sexism because of technology’s ability to produce unbiased logic. Most famously, Donna Haraway’s “A Cyborg Manifesto” posits that the cyborg has the inherent capability to transcend gender because of its removal from social construct and lack of loyalty to the natural world. But while humanoids and artificial intelligence have been imagined as inherently subversive to gender, current artificial intelligence perpetuates gender divides in labor and language as their programmers imbue them with traits considered “feminine.” A majority of 21st century AI and humanoids are programmed to fit female stereotypes as they fulfill emotional labor and perform pink-collar tasks, whether through roles as therapists, query-fillers, or companions. This paper examines four specific chat-based AI --ELIZA, XiaoIce, Sophia, and Erica-- and examines how their feminine linguistic patterns are used to maintain the illusion of emotional understanding in regards to the tasks that they perform. Overall, chat-based AI fails to subvert gender roles, as feminine AI are relegated to the realm of emotional intelligence and labor.


Written as a Senior Capstone for Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.