Scientist develop 'gaydar' AI that can tell sexuality from profile pics

The Stanford researchers' study on facial recognition and deep neural networks faced backlash amid concern for LGBTQ community.

    2017/09/14

NSFW    STANFORD, CALIFORNIA — Researchers from Stanford University are facing backlash this week after developing an artificial intelligence that they say can identify sexuality based on dating profile photos

Critics worry the technology could be replicated by governments of countries where gay people are prosecuted.

The AI was used as part of a study that was to be published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. It is currently being held for review regarding ethical concerns, reported Science Alert.

The AI scanned publicly available photos from dating websites to identify whether the image's subject was gay or not. In total, it looked at 130,741 images. It proved more effective than the study's human judges. On the whole, the AI was able to identify gay women with 74% accuracy and gay men with 81% accuracy.

Researchers say the AI was able to do this by looking at transient features, such as nose shape and hair style. It only looked at white people aged between 18 and 40.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and Human Rights Campaign called for people to debunk it, citing multiple flaws in the study.
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