University of New Hampshire
McNair Scholar, 2023
Mentor: Dr. April Bailey
Research Title: Of Minds and Men: Robot Entity Study
Developers of artificial intelligence (AI) have found that anthropomorphizing AI assistants as women increases consumer trust. Utilizing feminine gender cues to increase interest in AI could have social consequences. As AI is becoming commonplace in the home, medical field, workplace, and academic settings, social interactions with AI have the potential to shape perceptions of and interactions with real women. Additionally, social interactions with gendered AI have the potential to either counteract or reinforce gender biases and stereotypes. The proposed study will investigate perceptions of mindedness (mental, social, and emotional capabilities) in gendered AI. As part of a larger examination of androcentric biases in the perceptions of the mindedness of different types of entities, this study will focus specifically on perceptions of AI. Participants will complete a questionnaire based on descriptions of gendered AI entities. The questionnaire will ask participants to rate the entities for dimensions of mindedness and gender. Mindedness will be measured using questions about mindedness qualities in the agency-experience framework from Weisman et al. (2017).