July  2021 57
專輯論文Special Issue Articles
Whose Love Is AI For? The Networked Body and Multiple Masculinities in Chinese Child-Rearing Robots
作者 袁艷、朱琳
Author Yan YUAN, Lin ZHU
關鍵詞 機器人、人工智能、技術女性主義、男性氣質、性別研究
Keywords robot, AI, feminist STS, masculinities, gender studies
摘要 當男性科學家和工程師所主宰的機器人技術進入傳統意義上由女性所主導的家庭育兒場景,技術的性別會發生怎樣的重構?自2016年以來在中國市場大量湧現的兒童陪伴機器人為回答這個問題提供了極好的案例。本文採用技術女性主義的理論框架和男性研究的相關理論,從性別的角度對兒童智能陪伴機器人的社會建構及文化價值進行實證研究。研究選取智伴、阿爾法蛋等五個品牌的產品為研究對象,從符號性表徵和具身行為兩個方面進行觀察和分析,並以機器人的網絡化身體為出發點剖析這一技術製品的性別偏向和性別關係結構。研究發現,兒童陪伴機器人在前台、中台和後台,分別扮演夥伴、家長和專家三種不同角色,在這三種角色中,機器人分別表現出以聰明淘氣和自我中心為特點的小男生氣、以權威感、控制感為訴求的英雄和家長式氣概,以及基於數據和計算、超脫個體經驗和情感的冷靜理性氣質。儘管它們表現各異,但在社會性別話語結構中都偏向男性,與其應用場景在傳統意義上的女性色彩形成反差。機器人的多重男性氣質一方面在情感和符號維度上打破了傳統的男性刻板印象,但另一方面,它也鞏固了家庭育兒勞動中的男女性別分工,維護了男性對女性的優勢地位。作為中國當代霸權性男性氣質在面臨家庭育兒焦慮、特別是父職焦慮的情況下所催生出的一種技術性解決方案,本文認為它一方面為滿足和發展父親與孩子之間的親子感情創造了空間,另一方面,它在捍衛父職權威性和推崇平台化的育兒方式時,也會對母親的育兒經驗和訴求形成排斥。
Abstract What would happen to gender politics if AI technology, which is dominated by male scientists and engineers, entered domestic child rearing, a social domain that is conventionally dominated by women? The rise of childrearing robots in China since 2016 has provided us with a focus for addressing this question. In this study, five brands of robots are used as examples to examine gender bias and gender strategies in this newly emerged technological artifact, following the paradigm of feminist STS and the theoretical approach of masculinity studies. The data were drawn from two sources: media representations of the robots and the functions that they embody. In examining the artifact as a networked body, the findings show that the technology is composed of front, middle, and back platforms, and it performs three different roles, respectively: partner, parent, and expert. In accordance with these roles, the robots demonstrated three masculinities: naughty boy, heroic patriarch, and rational man. Despite their differences, they all showed the male bias of the technology compared with the previously female dominance in its application context. On one hand, the multiplicity of masculinity in the robots breaks the stereotypes about men but, on the other hand, reinforces the gender division of labour in domestic child rearing and the superiority of men. As a technological solution driven by dominant masculinity and fatherhood, it may help to produce a space for rebuilding the relationship between fathers and children, but by defending the authority of fathers and platforms, it also risks the possibility of devaluing mothers’ experiences and interests in domestic child rearing.


袁艷、朱琳(2021)。〈AI(愛)心陪伴:中國兒童陪伴機器人的網絡化身體與多重男性氣質〉。《傳播與社會學刊》,第57 期,頁225–254。

Citation of this article: Yuan, Y., & Zhu, L. (2021). Whose love is AI for? The networked body and multiple masculinities in Chinese child-rearing robots. Communication and Society, 57, 225–254.
No.59  2022 January
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No.57  2021 July
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