Re: Gender Neutral Pronouns

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Fri Mar 30 2001 - 20:22:26 MST

John Smart wrote:
> Nice idea, Dale and Eli.
> Early motorcars, airplanes, and other such emergent and disruptive
> technological entities were given "she, " so there is long historical
> precedence. It does have the advantages of implying a self-reproductive
> capacity (parthenogenesis anyone?) as well, which is the essence of these
> systems.

I thought of that too - e.g., any AI has the capability to reproduce,
therefore all are technically female - but that argument is darned silly.

> Glad to see you are receptive to considering this, Eli. You've always struck
> me as a really plastic individual (I'm sure you know the positive sense in
> which I use the term.)

Don't hold the victory celebration yet. I almost decided to switch... but
then I started experimentally, writing the sentences with "she". And it
felt really anthropomorphic - gynomorphic, rather. I couldn't make myself
visualize the AI as nonfeminine. (Which is ironic, since I can quite
easily visualize "he" as nonmasculine. Sigh.) So now I'm undecided

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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