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SXSW 2020

How screen sci-fi treats AI of different genders

How does Hollywood treat AI of different genders? Do they get assigned different bodies? How are nonbinary AIs treated? Are female AIs more subservient? Is there a “default” gender? How can Hollywood do better & what does it mean for real-world AI?

Chris Noessel of scifiinterfaces.com studied 327 AI characters from the past 100 years of cinema and television, answering these questions & more with open-source analysis. AI doesn’t inherently have or need a gender, so these findings are very telling about how Hollywood thinks.

Join Chris as he leads a panel discussion about his findings and these questions, including Leila McNeill from the Lady Science Blog, sci-fi author and futurist Madeline Ashby, and 🤞a panelist from the USC SAIL program, as they discuss Gendered AI.

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Additional Supporting Materials


  1. How does Hollywood treat AI of different genders?
  2. Why might sci-fi movie makers display the biases that they do?
  3. What do movie and TV makers need to do to overcome their bias?


  • Christopher Noessel, Senior Lead Designer, IBM
  • Madeline Ashby, Science fiction writer, futurist, speaker, and teacher, MadelineAshby.com
  • Leila McNeill, Free lance writer, editor, independent researcher, podcaster, LeilaMcNeill.com


Christopher Noessel, Senior Lead Designer, IBM

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Fantastic Future
  • Track 2
  • Level: Beginner
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