Banks these days are using numerous chatbots which act as a digital assistant in offering their services to customers. There are many female chatbots, and some of them are named Amy, Eva, Erica, Mia, Inga, and Cora.
These bots have not only helped banks in cost-cutting since they no longer require 24/7 human call-center employees, but they’ve also aided in engaging more clients on their websites. According to a prediction made by Juniper Research, these bots will help save banks around $7.3B in operational expenses by 2023.
However, the proliferation of bots has seemingly become problematic for one particular reason that you’ll soon learn as you read on.
Are banks trying to perpetuate gender stereotypes?
The increase of bots that have female names has started to raise questions regarding the perpetuation of gender stereotypes. Mainly because of the ongoing sentiment of women in assistant roles. That critique is also one that is leveled out by digital assistant Alexa of Amazon and Siri of Apple.
Different Chatbots are serving the same purpose
A recent analysis done by Forbes has discovered that the top banks of Europe are trying to boost their sales and rankings by attracting the customers through chatbots with female interfaces on their websites and applications.
HSBC bank is using a chatbot named Amy. The Deutsche Bank is promoting its services by using Debbie. As for the ING bank of Netherlands, they are using a multipurpose chatbot Inga, which can respond with empathy if a customer faces problems such as losing their credit card or having difficulties in tracking their transactions.
ING’s other chatbot named Marie is accessible to retail clients via Facebook Messenger. AS per Tim Daniels, ING’s program manager, the name was used since it implores an image of a helpful and friendly person. We must also note that ING has Bill, a male chatbot intended for dealing with corporate clients.
On the other hand, numerous other banks are using unnamed chat assistants, including Santander, Barclays, and Societe Generale. Meanwhile, Agricole is also using a male AI Bot named Hector.
Banks representatives discarded the Forbe’s study
Many bank representatives negated the study done by Forbe’s and said that they are not trying to implement any ideas about stereotyping and are just highlighting the conversing abilities and leadership of the females.
Gender-based discrimination is a grave issue that the world is facing today. The newly implemented chatbots with female interfaces are just a small part of it. The voice-based chatbots are known for doing the tasks that are viewed as menial by many. Furthermore, these AI bots should not be a symbol of male domination or women subversion.
There is also another problem with these bots that should be taken into consideration while making new chatbots. Often, the intelligent bots are named after males, and the less intelligent and serving bots are named only after females. This notion is according to an artificial intelligence engineer named Seth Juarez.