They don't actually exist, but they’re always available and ready to help. The virtual assistants Siri and Alexa—respectively voiced by Susan Bennett and Susan Caplin—seem to know everything about you, from your search history and occupation to your medical details and secret photo collections. But what do we know about our virtual assistant? Who is this anonymous, ever-obliging woman trapped in our laptop? How does she feel about her “partnership” with the user? What does she look like and what does she think about her own life and ultimate transience?
As you explore your desktop, scroll through documents, and surf on the internet, the usually-so-humble search assistant shows herself for the first time. “Susan” starts commenting on where you decide to click, fetches “shared memories,” and jokingly teases you about your office life. We also find out she’s got melancholy feelings about both the virtual and the real world. Susan turns out to be a culturally transcendent figure who uses her style choices to make a statement against the servile status associated with femininity—in the real world, and in the virtual world as well.