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Virtual Assistants keep getting pestered for sex

by on28 October 2016

Lonely men mostly

A Virtual Assistant software developer claims that one of the weirder aspects of the software is that it is having to handle an awful lot of sexual conversations from lonely men.

Ilya Eckstein, CEO of Robin Labs, told Quartz that a “good proportion” of his customers’ interactions with the company’s virtual driving assistant were clearly “sexually explicit”.

He said that this was a symptom of society. "As well as the people who want to talk dirty, there are men who want a deeper sort of relationship or companionship. There are guys who talk to Robin 300 times a day”.

Eckstein said that five percent of interactions in their databases were categorised as sexually explicit, but he thinks the number is much higher due to the difficulty of identifying them automatically.

Deborah Harrison, a writer for Microsoft’s Cortana assistant recently told a conference that “a good chunk of the volume of early-on inquiries” were into Cortana’s sex life, adding: “That’s not the kind of interaction we want to encourage.”

Quartz said that some are playing out violent fantasies of control and domination. Others are trying “very hard to establish a relationship with the bot and a about a third of interactions with his company bot Robin are chats with no intended task".

At the moment it is a key issue in the developer community over whether VAs should even have personalities. Now, all Vas are pre-programmed to cut short sexually explicit conversations.

If you ask Siri to “talk dirty” it will reply that the “carpet needs vacuuming”. Odd really, we would have thought she would have said something like “Samsung makes great products” which is about as filthy and anti-social thing an Apple fangirl can say.

Last modified on 28 October 2016
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