Daily Management Review

Based On One Photo, Research Shows A.I. Can Detect The Sexual Orientation Of A Person


A new research work has claimed that by just analyzing photos of faces of individuals, Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology can now accurately identify a person's sexual orientation.
Machines possessed a far superior "gaydar" when compared to humans, found the Stanford University study, which is set to be published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and was first reported in The Economist.
Inference between gay and straight men could be correctly recognized 81 percent of the time, and 74 percent of the time for women by the machine intelligence that was tested in the research. Identifying the orientation of men 61 percent of the time and guessing correctly 54 percent of the time for women, human judges performed much worse than the sophisticated computer software in c contrast.
Questions about whether it could be used to violate a person's privacy and the possible use of this type of machine intelligence, both in terms of the ethics of facial-detection technology are being raised by the critics of this machine based study and the publicati0on of this report.
The software was able to accurately conclude the sexual orientation of people and the machine intelligence was able to find subtle differences in facial structure between gay and straight people, said Michal Kosinski and Yilun Wang, the lead researchers of the study.
Typically, "gender-atypical" features and expressions can be found in gay men and women, the Stanford University researchers found. The research also suggested that gay women appeared more masculine and vice versa because the machine also factored in a person's "grooming style" in to the computer algorithm.
The results were even more convincing – 91 percent of the time with men and 83 percent of the time with women, when the AI reviewed five images of a person's face, rather than one.
the theory that a person's sexual orientation stems from the exposure to various hormones before birth finds strong support in the findings of the study, the paper indicated. Also appearing to back the concept that female sexual orientation is more fluid was the AI's success rate in comparison to human judges.
Similar AI tests could spot other personal traits such as an individual's IQ or even their political views with appropriate data sets, the researchers behind the study argued. However, warning about of the potentially dangerous ramifications such AI machines could have on the LGBT community was also issued by Kosinski and Wang.
"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.

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