I think we’d make progress if we took a cue from Alan Turing and replaced the term “intelligence” with “femininity.” Obviously I’m making an embodied cognition argument here. I know this isn’t new to philosophers, and there is lively debate about it. I know that philosophers debate, and I’m all for that, but I’d like to address engineers. Explain to me, as an engineer, why it’s so important to aspire to build systems with “Artificial Intelligence,” and yet you’d scorn to build “Artificial Femininity.” What is that about?
Or, failing that, imagine a team of MIT female software engineers building “Artificial Masculinity.” Is it okay if they get Defence Department funding for that? I’ll remind you that Alan Turing himself thought it was a great idea, even though you never got around to it.
You could argue that “masculinity” has nothing to do with “intelligence.” I might even agree with you, but if my masculinity isn’t an aspect of my so-called intelligence, what is it?
Mathematics may be sexless, but do we really believe that cognition is some quality we have that is strictly divorced from gender? How can you properly claim that you understand how human brains work, if you can’t create a system that expresses a female sexual identity? Because billions of brains do that every day, and it’s not rare, because women are the majority gender. Where is that aspect of human intelligence supposed to be hiding? Is femininity non-algorithmic? Is femininity a Turing non-computable problem?
A while back, I’d seen these yummy little froyo cups for dogs at a picnic, but had a hard time finding a local store that sold them. Then I thought, “Well, jeez, if it’s just yogurt and fruit without sugar, I can do that.
I’ve been making these little froyo cubes for Izzy for the past couple summers, and she loooooves them. Here’s what I did to make the pictured peanut butter parfait version:
2 cups of plain yogurt (we use non-fat) 3/4 cup of peanut butter (nuked in the microwave for about 20 seconds to make it runny)
Fill the ice cube tray about 1/3 full with yogurt, then put teaspoonfuls of the melty peanut butter on top. Shake the tray to even it out if necessary. Then drop teaspoonfuls of more yogurt on top. Freeze overnight.
Another variation I use is to fill the whole tray with yogurt, and then stuff a couple pieces of kibble or blueberries (fresh or frozen) into the yogurt. If you’re using fruit (remember: no grapes or raisins!), make sure pieces don’t sink to the bottom— I found a couple of cubes hard to get out of the trays when the blueberries stuck.
Canada! You like me, you really like me. After my appearance on CBC Connect last night, CBC Radio got in touch to schedule a bunch of local radio interviews with me today. Some of these will be live, and some are taped (no idea which are which), but if you’re tuning in today, as is your patriotic Canadian duty, you might hear me talking about crowdfunding in the wake of the Karen Klein bullying story.
(All times Eastern)
3:20 NEW BRUNSWICK Paul Castle - Host
3:40 YELLOWKNIFE Allison Devereux - Host
3:50 OTTAWA Alan Neal - Host
4:10 TORONTO Laura diBattista - Host
4:30 VANCOUVER Stephen Quinn - Host
4:50 WINNIPEG Larry Updike - Host
5:00 WHITEHORSE Dave White - Host
5:40 THUNDER BAY Cathy Alex - Producer/Host, Voyage North
Exciting news! The editors of ForbesWoman approached me about contributing a regular column to their site, which is part of the larger Forbes.com network of content. It’s called “Prospect: Tech" and I’ll be covering all my usual beats: technology, activism, politics and, of course, women. It feels kind of like Bizarro world when someone like Forbes contracts a person like me, and I’m really thrilled to have this platform.
It was a banner weekend for gender-washing on the Internet. First up: an otherwise decent article in the New York Times on Ellen Pao’s discrimination suit — a lawsuit that’s threatening to shake up Silicon Valley bro culture, thankfully — started out by erasing women’s contributions to the birth of the Internet. “Men invented the Internet.” Line 1, paragraph 1. Men.
But the Internet and its consciousness are smarter than the average Timesarticle, and when Xeni Jardin of Boing Boing blogged about this gaffe, and then shared that post on Twitter, she was inundated with responses documenting women’s contributions to both creating the Internet and computing in general.