Re/Framing Virtual Conversational Partners: A Feminist Critique and Tentative Move Towards a New Design Paradigm
- Cite this paper as:
- Brahnam S., Weaver M. (2015) Re/Framing Virtual Conversational Partners: A Feminist Critique and Tentative Move Towards a New Design Paradigm. In: Marcus A. (eds) Design, User Experience, and Usability: Users and Interactions. DUXU 2015. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 9187. Springer, Cham
A major research agenda in HCI is the development of believable agents. Because believability has become linked to gendered personification, designers have relied on stereotypes for both the physical rendering and verbal responses of these agents. Conversational agents are even scripted to handle “abuse” in stereotypical ways. Such scripting, however, often escalates the abuse. While the demand for anthropomorphized agents may necessitate a reliance on bodily stereotypes, the verbal responses of the agents need not be scripted according to gendered expectations. We explore the design of conversational agents as a rhetorical enterprise that can deconstruct overtly gendered patterns of interaction.