Friday, September 15th, 2017 12:18:39

Can Artificial Intelligence Identify Gay Faces?

Can Artificial Intelligence Identify Gay Faces?Auto & Technology


There has been a debate on the topic weather an AI (Artificial Intelligence) can identify that the people are gay or not, the news has sparked a row between the creator and two leading LGBT rights groups.

It starts when a study from Stanford University calms that AI can detect whether people are gay or straight based on photos, the study is based on the finding of Michal Kosinski a professor at Stanford University. He said, “ sexual orientation was just one of many characteristics that algorithms would be able to predict through facial recognition”. He further stated that “AI can identify people’s political views, whether they have high IQs, whether they are predisposed to criminal behavior and many other private, personal details”.

On the other hand, LGBTQ advocacy groups, and private organization have slammed the report as “junk science” and called it “dangerous and flawed”,  Jim Halloran the chief digital officer at GLAAD says, “Technology cannot identify someone’s sexual orientation”.

While Kosinski said that “it’s a premature judgment, our finding could be wrong. In fact, despite evidence to the contrary, we hope that we are wrong. However, scientific findings can only be debunked by scientific data and replication, not by well-meaning lawyers and communication officers lacking scientific training”.

The study, by Michal Kosinski and Yilun Wang, used sample photos from a popular American dating website, the researchers used 35,326 pictures of 14,776 people. Using “deep neural network” and facial-detection technology, they have trained an algorithm to detect subtle differences in the images.

Later they demonstrate their model with participants, one gay and one straight, they were chosen randomly, the model can distinguish them 81% for men and 74% for women, the percentage rose to 91% for men and 83% for women, when the software reviewed five images per person. It was way more than the human judge, who was able to make guess only 61% of men and 54% for women.

The research has faced a lot of controversies, especially by LGBT rights groups, which came to say that this type of software can be used by the ANTI-LGBT governments, to take out gay people. Kosinski argued that powerful governments already poses these type of technology and that this type of exposure can decrease the possible danger of privacy protections and regulatory safeguards.

To conclude, this debate is ongoing and many different opinions have come into the lights, for now, no specific conclusion has been made.

Content by – Tohid Sheikh


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