Scary Software Uses Your Face Pic To Determine if You Are Gay

12 September, 2017, 06:44 | Author: Christian Benson
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Stanford University scientists have developed a computer algorithm capable of using a photo to predict a person's sexual orientation with up to 91-percent accuracy. The study was based on a sample of over 35,000 facial images that were posted publicly by people on USA dating website.

An algorithm associated with the software correctly identified gay men 81% of the time, while it was accurate for 74% of the women it tested.

In comparison, human judges didn't get anywhere near these levels of accuracy, with a 61% success rate for men and 54% for women.

Wang and Kosinski said they attempted to gather a more diverse sample but "the prejudice against gay people and the adoption of online dating websites is unevenly distributed across groups characterized by different ethnicities".

The research found that gay men and women tended to have "gender-atypical" features, expressions and "grooming styles", essentially meaning gay men appeared more feminine and vice versa. It also noted that gay men had narrower jaws and larger foreheads, while their female counterparts had larger jaws and smaller foreheads.

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The researchers suggested the findings of the study posed a threat to the privacy and safety of gay men and women. However, Kosinski and Wang also warned of the potentially risky ramifications such AI machines could have on the LGBT community."Given that companies and governments are increasingly using computer vision algorithms to detect people's intimate traits, our findings expose a threat to the privacy and safety of gay men and women", Kosinski and Wang said in the report.

Kosinski and his co-author Yilun Wang acknowledged these limitations in the paper, claiming that they could not find sufficient numbers of non-white gay people.

Once completed, the software uses a predictive statistical model involving logistic regression to predict the person's sexual orientation via the faceprint.

Scientists have created artificial intelligence that can guess whether someone is gay based on a picture of their face-which has some anxious about the AI's future use and implications.

With billions of images of people's faces stored on social media sites and in government databases, it's not hard to imagine how something could go wrong.

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But the authors argued that the technology already exists, and its capabilities are important to expose so that governments and companies can proactively consider privacy risks and the need for safeguards and regulations.

The deep neural networks extracted features from the huge dataset, identifying certain trends to help it determine a person's sexuality.

Ashland Johnson, the director of public education at HRC, condemns Stanford for getting involved in the study, which can be found in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

The statement notes that, in a society with strict standards of beauty, it's hardly surprising that many gay men may post similar photos to each other on a dating site, and the same is true across demographics. In their extensive additional notes they claim the study is meant to make people aware of the potential powers that current visual algorithmic tools have achieved. Worse again, that anti-gay governments - such as Russian Federation - could use it to target members of a country's population. All images were first detected using a facial-detection technology to check for those with most clarity.

As artificial intelligence becomes increasingly advanced, we're hearing more warnings about its potential dangers.

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Even more concerning, the groups say, is that Stanford University and the lead researchers met with GLAAD and HRC several months ago.

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