Watch: Intel’s In-House Gender Studies Scholar Melissa Gregg Says Women Should Be Designing Smart Home Technology

Gregg also warns, if we make household robots too smart, they might "start to strike back."

Melissa Gregg has a unique perspective on smart home technology.

The published gender studies scholar is Intel's Principal Engineer, and much of her work focuses on the perspective of women who have historically organized home spaces.

At Willamette Week's TechfestNW in April, Gregg also analyzed the relationships we have to our homes—both as respites and workplaces in a burgeoning gig economy.

"What's changed in 100 years?" Gregg asked. "We've had a massive influx of women into paid work and we haven't really talked about what's happened to households since that happened."

At home, Gregg says technology can exacerbate exhaustion. In a poll, she says, 30 percent of women said they were "not likely" to implement smart home devices. But, Gregg says, "These are the people that should be most helped by smart technologies."

She emphasizes including women's voices in the designing of technologies, "because women know the work that's getting done."

But, Gregg also warns, if we make household robots too smart, they might "start to strike back."

In another dystopian smart home future, Gregg, in conversation with New York Times tech reporter Nellie Bowles, warns that "if men are setting up the devices, and the rest of the family aren't informed about how those decisions are made, what happens if that protector becomes a threat?"

She also highlights the importance of treating smart home device device with high ethical standards.

"This is the most intimate environment," Gregg says. "This is the place where people do not expect this data will be going beyond the threshold that they determine."

To protect technology users, Gregg says data literacy and educational programs will be a crucial.

To see Gregg's full TFNW talk, click here.