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...and having an interactive kiosk at city hall instead of a human receptionist is probably a reasonable way to save money.

But did they have to gender it?

http://www.cityofsancarlos.org/civica/press/display.asp?layout=1&Entry=480
"Carly appears in the center of a monopoly-board screen that offers a menu of city departments and services. The Virtual Receptionist is designed to greet visitors and provide much of the assistance a human used to offer.

Residents can access the kiosk via the touch screen monitor, by tapping on the icons that surround her, gaining access to valuable information including department phone numbers and directions to the many city hall offices. In addition, when you click on Carly she begins talking and explaining what services are on the first floor and the second floor, and what services the city provides.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
dr_brat
May. 23rd, 2009 12:57 am (UTC)
I'm not sure that I agree that saving money by putting a human out of a job is a good idea in this economy. I think it's cool that we can create machines to do all sorts of jobs, but it also worries me.
firecat
May. 23rd, 2009 01:31 am (UTC)
Yeah, that's a valid point. I'm not sure what the city could cut without cutting jobs though. I'm not as involved in local politics as I ought to be.
johnpalmer
May. 23rd, 2009 03:33 am (UTC)
Nod. Writ large, it's the paradox of thrift during any recession/depression... what's good for a single entity (cutting costs as best as possible) is *terrible* for the society.

But even during good times, it cuts down the amount of spending going on. People seem set on considering a dollar spent a dollar lost, as if that dollar doesn't get spent again a dozen times or more.
starcat_jewel
May. 27th, 2009 04:54 am (UTC)
If they're going to have it look like a human being, it's hard to avoid gendering it. And a lot of people are going to want something that at least resembles a human, even if it's only a cartoon human, because they "don't like talking to machines".
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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