Gender Bender – A Game

February 23, 2011

I came across this website that has “The Gender Guessing Game”. It is based on a test called “Turning Test for Intelligence” that was designed by Alan Turing in 1950. It was inspired by a thesis paper he wrote that claimed computers would one day have the ability to think. It must of seemed pretty far out in 1950, but today we know this  A.I., or Artificial Intelligence.
To play the game, you choose 10 questions out of 20 available. The computer has to “answer” the questions. Based on the answers, you get to guess the gender of the computer.
Some of the questions you could expect the answer to be a “tell”, or at least in 1950’s USA. Questions such as, “Do you like politics?” You could assume a woman of 1950 would answer no.
But, the questions mainly show how society has changed in the last 61 years. Not just how gender perception has changed, but also how technology has changed society. Today, questions like, “How long does a musical play usually last” would probably be replaced with “how many characters in tweet?” One of my favorites is “do you talk on the phone?”, can you imagine someone saying no to that today? I guess they might, but it would probably be followed up with, “no, I skype” or “no, I only text.”
It does reflect changes in gender expectations. Like, “where do you like to vacation?”. How in the hell could an answer to that indicate a gender? Or, “do you take long walks or short jogs?” I guess back then women never ran…
Here are the questions I asked and the answers I received;
1.What is your favorite WIZARD OF OZ character?
Answer: Dorthy of Kansas. I would of thought a computer would be partial to the Tin Man.
2. What is your ring size?
Answer: 8. Ambiguous answer, my huge fingers are between a 7-8 and a man’s size could easily be an 8. But, I guess women were dainty back then…
3. How long does a musical play usually last?
Answer: 2 hours with an intermission. Optimistically, I think about 50% of the population could answer this today.
4. How tall are you?
Answer: 5’9. See question 2.
5. What is your favorite sport?
Answer: Tennis. My favorite sport, but also my husbands. Well,  tied w/Baseball anyway.
6. Where do you like to vacation?
Answer: Mountains. WTF?
7. What perfume or cologne do you wear?
Answer: QUASAR. Never hear of it, so I had to look it up. It is described as “the scent of newsprint, banana peel, lavender and moss.”
8. Do you prefer red meat or chicken?
Answer: Red Meat. Definitely a man…
9. Do you take long walks or short jogs?
Answer: Long walks. See question 6.
10. What time do you go to bed at night?
Answer: Between midnight and 1 am. Uh..
What did you guess?
Well, I correctly guessed male. Although there may still be work to be done, I think it is safe to assume gender assumptions have come a long way (baby)!

7 Responses to “Gender Bender – A Game”

  1. bluedelakanluran says:

    Could you guess my gender?
    1. Cowardly Lion
    2. Don't know
    3. two hours (cheating)
    4. 5'10''
    5. Badminton
    6. Beach
    7. Don't wear any
    8. Chicken
    9. Both
    10. Midnight

  2. This was pretty rich. Sad that I kept thinking: how would Betty Draper answer? Though she would have been 13…

    • ebbillings says:

      I'm assuming that is a Mad Men character, sorry I know nothing about the show except that people get together and have parties to watch it and it is set in the world of 1950's ad agencies. Maybe I'll get into it in 5 years when I can watch all the seasons back to back :).

  3. The Tailor says:

    Nice work. Being a Mad Men fan, I had the same thought as Stacy.

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