In humans and humanoid robots alike, gender—femininity, masculinity—constitutes an array of learned behaviors that are cosmetically enabled and enhanced. In humans, these behaviors are both socially and historically shaped, but are also contingent upon many situational influences, including individual choices. I will explore the sex/gender dynamics informing the design and embodiment of artificial intelligence (AI) and robots, especially humanoids. As I show, advanced technology does not necessarily promote social progress but can be deployed to reinforce conservative models of sex/gender roles, ethnic nationalism, and "traditional" family structures.
Invited Lecture, Michigan State University, March 29th 2019