The Smart Wife

The Smart Wife Why Siri, Alexa, and Other Smart Home Devices Need a Feminist Reboot

Hardback (22 Sep 2020)

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Publisher's Synopsis

Meet the Smart Wife--at your service, an eclectic collection of feminized AI, robotic, and smart devices. This digital assistant is friendly and sometimes flirty, docile and efficient, occasionally glitchy but perpetually available. She might go by Siri, or Alexa, or inhabit Google Home. She can keep us company, order groceries, vacuum the floor, turn out the lights. A Japanese digital voice assistant--a virtual anime hologram named Hikari Azuma--sends her "master" helpful messages during the day; an American sexbot named Roxxxy takes on other kinds of household chores. In The Smart Wife, Yolande Strengers and Jenny Kennedy examine the emergence of digital devices that carry out "wifework"--domestic responsibilities that have traditionally fallen to (human) wives. They show that the principal prototype for these virtual helpers--designed in male-dominated industries--is the 1950s housewife: white, middle class, heteronormative, and nurturing, with a spick-and-span home. It's time, they say, to give the Smart Wife a reboot.

Book information

ISBN: 9780262044370
Publisher: The MIT Press
Imprint: The MIT Press
Pub date:
DEWEY: 303.4834082
DEWEY edition: 23
Number of pages: x, 305
Weight: 564g
Height: 163mm
Width: 235mm
Spine width: 27mm