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Gender Politics Week

This week we will explore robot gender in literature and cinema and why roboticists build robots that are explicitly a male or female gender. After all, it’s the start of Season 2 of HBO’s Westworld, where female robots Delores and Maeve are having their #MeToo moment. (In a related #MeHappy moment, my article for Science Robotics on Westworld and the uncanny valley came out so stay tuned for the usual, free access link coming over the next few days. For now, click here for the pay to read link). In science fiction, robots are female it is primarily to aid with objectification. It always comes back to sexbots, doesn’t it? The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is a recent, though not very good, attempt to even the score with a male robot-female human couple. Skip it and instead read Children of Time; there are no robots but the portrayal of uplifted female-dominated spider society is a reflection of our male-dominated one. On Thursday, we will present the RTSF’s very own list of 9 Female Robot Stereotypes. Throughout the week we will be posting a combination of sci-fi #MeToo trivia, contests, and science facts on robots and gender.

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