Artificially intelligent assistants will continue to play a big role in the future of technology, specifically shaping the interactions between humans and computers. As more of these technologies become common and enter our homes, it’s important to consider how we address our new intelligent friends.
Here at Josh we realized how important naming an AI could be in influencing peoples perception of AI technology and if they would adopt it, and we knew it would be important to give Josh the right personality along with the right name. What was important to us?
Although AI will continue to gain in popularity, there’s always a hesitancy that people will have when it comes to adopting these technologies into their daily lives.
Take a moment and remember the last film you watched on artificial intelligence. Was it Ex Machina? Avengers: Age of Ultron? Whatever film that popped into your head, chances are you walked out of the theater a little bit more scared of AI technology than when you walked in.
With all the bad rep that AI gets from the media, we knew it was important to give our AI a name that was both friendly and familiar, so what better name to give it than Josh?
Go ahead and just Google ‘Josh’ right now. The first result comes from Urban Dictionary that states
“He is a fun-loving guy really funny and can make anyone laugh. He is very quiet at first and seems shy but when you get to know him you will fall in love.”
A striking characteristic of most AIs or even automated phone systems out on the market today is that they are a synthesized version of a woman’s voice, likely sounding polite and pleasant and ready to assist with any questions.
Though these assistants lack a physical appearance, they embody what we think of when we picture a personal assistant: a woman. We’re used to assistants and servants being females, from mothers to nurses and personal assistants and wait staff.
On the other hand, you have male-voiced AI services that are, coincidentally, associated with roles not related to providing services, but rather knowledge. They’re literally voices of authority, such as IBM’s Watson.
This is the unfortunate aspect of current AI assistants which is that they are a sad reflection of the way society currently portrays gender roles and not how they should be portrayed.
One would think that using an emotionless AI as a personal assistant would erase these outdated gender stereotypes. It’s actually quite the opposite, these companies credited with creating these AI assistants are rather enforcing this harmful culture every day.
That’s why here at Josh, we’ve created a male AI-assistant ready to help you however he can—turning off the lights, lowering the thermostat, or even closing the shades.
It’s All About The Experience
The goal with our company is to create an elegant and easy way to interact with the technology around you. In essence, we created Josh to be the family helper that you never knew you needed — always ready and available to lend a hand.
Our hope in creating Josh is that you find yourself trusting Josh as you would your friend or family, and maybe even being left surprised with what an AI is capable of.
This article was written by Matt at Josh.ai in Santa Monica, where he focuses on design and front-end web development. He is currently studying for his Bachelors of Science in Computer Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. Matt loves to spend his free time hanging out with friends and trying everything LA has to offer.
Josh.ai is an artificial intelligence agent for your home. If you’re interested in learning more, visit us at https://josh.ai.
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