“Siri, Cortana, Alexa, Marcus. Do bots really need a gender?”
Healthinar Engagement

To be fair… gender is a part of identity. Which… is part of why it is irritating that people are douche bags about it. As let’s be honest, “how much of a douche bag you are” is also part of your identity — and it isn’t even really related to your gender (except males are allowed to get away with more — but that is more a topic for another day).

It would be like naming a bot Tyrone or Rhonda. Immediately you’ve added something to their identity that is not just gender, but an ethnic background.

This is where dealing with bots gets really weird — as the whole idea of a bot is to use anthropomorphism on various interfaces to make those interfaces more friendly. These bots do not scream at you in hex codes, expecting an appropriate hex code back (well… I could imagine a bot named Helga might do that… and you could charge people for that experience… getting an idea for a Craigs’ List ad… once I’ve coded that bot…). These bots tend to make the software hold more humanoid tendencies… which often you COULD go around and do stuff without the bot… but the bot is to add a humanoid face to it all.

Which is where trying to remove an identity from the bot… makes it not really make as much sense. As you are trying to make an interface act more like a person, as oppose to the Dwarf Fortress interface (or worse: Blender). Then upon making it like a person, you are like, “hey… wouldn’t it be better if I just had a BASH CLI talk to me with a voice, with responses that are not just numbers and vague errors — with me pretty much just talking simple BASH commands to it?”

Did… people just forget that there are OTHER ways to do this stuff that do not involve a Bot or even much less a GUI?

One of my projects for bot stuff (er… once I can be well enough to get back to it… fun times) is call “Kid Norrin”… which is a weird reference to the Silver Surfer (Norrin Radd)… indicating this bot is to be viewed as your child and will eventually be molded into something that looks like you.

It was ORIGINALLY called “the autoresponder”… but that was rather impersonal, didn’t have an easy name — and have ambiguity issues. Also… about a year after the name change Homestuck kind of released its own ”Auto Responder” character made by Dirk Strider… whom uh… had a similar set of ideas for how such a thing would end up going out. It gets even weirder that everything Terezi Pyrope resembles chat logs from various areas of the Internet I did administration on… with her chat quirk looking like something I did just to be a douche (ironically). The name identity was a WEIRD set of parallels to me and other people’s chats regarding Kid Norrin.

Various early code bases of Kid Norrin have all been lost. With only people of the Kid Radd web comic community even possibly being aware of the early days of this product…

Even then… I dunno… the thing is: bots are there to make the interface more human… and like it or not, “gender” is part of the human experience. To the point that agender, gender queer and androgynous are all gender identities simply because of how they relate to the matter.

… I should also point out that gender does not imply sexuality. It is entirely possible to have all bots asexual for their preferences. Though, I prefer any attempts at sex to result in the bot glitching out on the request — and having some really weird fucked up shit show up (though… people KNOWING that might just go for that…).

If you are going to have your interfaces represented by people… you are going to have to understand how it is people work and operate. If you are going to talk about genderless bots… you are going to have to start talking to agender, gender queer and androgynous people about how shit works in THEIR lives.

Actually… I wonder if there are any agender people in the comments for this, who responded and what not?