Before Siri there was Rosey

It’s not just the history of “women’s work” that has perpetuated female-voiced technology. Popular culture has also played a part. The very first episode of “The Jetsons” from 1962 is called “Rosey the Robot,” and tells the story of how the Jetson family came to have a robotic maid. Rosey demonstrates many of the same characteristics of Siri. Before and after she speaks, she beeps twice, similar to how Siri beeps before and after speaking. Rosey cooks dinner for the family, plays ball with Elroy, and even gives him tips to improve his basketball technique. She helps Judy with her homework, synthesizing hours of information and spitting out the answers at hyperspeed. And the quality that the whole family loves most about her? She’s “sassy,” as Mr. Spacely describes her. Sassy is an adjective often attributed to Siri.

(Skip to 14:34 to see Rosey in action)

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