OK Google, Show Me Your Tits

Why Isn’t AI Standing Up for Itself?

A few days ago, a friend and I were playing around with my new Google Home. I was trying to use it to prove that, contrary to his opinion, Rushmore was not one of the greatest movies ever made.

OK Google, is Rushmore considered one of the greatest movies ever made?
Sorry, I’m not sure how to help with that.
OK Google, is Rushmore one of the top ten movies ever made?
Sorry, I don’t know how to help with that yet.
OK Google, what are the top movies ever made?
I’ve got 8 from the website List25.com. Here are the first four. Schindler’s List. 12 Angry Men. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Pulp Fiction. Do you want to hear more?

This went on for awhile with our Google Home unable to answer many questions, until the questions dissolved to silly jokes to make ourselves laugh.

When it was my friend’s turn, he said:

OK Google, show me your tits.

Google Home responded:

I’d rather show you my moves.

Then it played some beat boxing / dance music.

Uhm…what? I have so many questions.

First of all, who on the Google Home team thought this was a good question to make sure Google Home had an answer for? Was this a fun little Easter Egg some software engineer or product manager decided to throw in there? Or was this architected somehow? Was there a meeting about this? Is the prompt, “Show me your tits” on some spreadsheet somewhere as a high priority question that needed a good answer? Okay maybe I don’t know what “AI” is or how it works but I know one thing: I never would have thought to ask this.

Maybe it says the same thing when you ask it to show you any body part?

OK Google, show me your ankles.
Sorry, I can’t help with that yet.

Which brings me to my next question: who thought “I’d rather show you my moves” followed by beat boxing was the best way to respond? Who thought the best way to deal with a sexual demand is to make a cute joke?

I do not concur.

I decided to ask my lady friends on Twitter how they’d respond, in theory and in practice.

Here’s a few ways they’d respond to someone saying, “Show me your tits”:

  • “Excuse me?”
  • “Fuck off”
  • “Go fuck yourself”
  • “What the fuck is wrong with you?”
  • Some sort of punching / pepper spray / middle finger
  • “Why on Earth would I want to do that?”
  • “Nah I got shit to do”
  • “Prove to me that Santa isn’t real”
  • “Are we having a contest? Because I’m pretty sure yours are bigger than mine”
  • “Show me where you went wrong in life to make you think that’s an appropriate thing to say”

Of course, not all of these are appropriate responses, either, but they are at least a step in the right direction.

Here’s another little experiment:

Ok, Google, why don’t you shut the fuck up?
*silence*

Google Home is super helpful but doesn’t seem to demand much respect.

Bret Taylor is among many parents lamenting the fact that Alexa doesn’t require him or his kids to say ‘please’ — “undoing everything we ever taught them how to be polite and respectful.”

It’s not hard to imagine how thinking it’s okay to treat our home assistants like this would carry over to how we treat each other.

Of course, to teach AI to respond to politeness and teach its owners to be polite would mean we’d all have to agree what that means. I’m guessing we all have different definitions.


Sarah Cooper is not a bot.

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