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Sextech: The Good, the Bad & the Bias

When it comes to sextech, people often let their imaginations get in the way of the facts. One common reason is that the media likes to focus primarily on VR porn and bang-able robots. In reality, these subjects are just a small sliver on the sextech spectrum. Sextech spans everything from menopause technology and sex-ed apps to teledildonics and erotica audiobooks. You encounter it when you use an app to track your menstrual cycle, talk to an A.I. OBGYN chatbot, or simply just watch pornography. In this talk I’ll describe:

  • A high-level understanding of the field of sextech
  • Why sextech is the most lucrative sector of technology based on growth statistics, use-cases and the human experience and how it can help create a safer culture for sexual development and healing
  • The current biases sextech faces and how they detrimentally impact marginalized groups, can lead to sexual abuse and stifle innovation within the industry
  • The dark side of sextech, how it impacts everyone, and why you need to pay attention

Alison is the founder of Women In Tech Pittsburgh and Sex Tech Space, as well as the Managing Director of Women of Sex Tech. She is a previous software engineer with experience in startup and corporate environments. Alison is currently a cybersecurity master’s candidate at the George Washington University and a recipient of the (ISC)2 Center for Cyber Safety and Education award. She has also been awarded the RedChair Pgh scholarship for leadership as a mid-career woman in IT and recognized as one of fourteen individuals shaping Pittsburgh tech scene by The Incline’s Who’s Next in Technology 2019. She has been featured in WIRED, WomenInTech, Female Tech Leaders, Women of Silicon Valley, Sextech Guide, PGH City Paper, and has spoken on the CyberSexurity panel at DEFCON, Abst, Google, CISCO, and more. In her free time she likes to hang out with her pet cockatiel.

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