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AI Software Hardware Technology

AI Can Detect Sexual Orientation Based On Person's Photo (cnbc.com) 350

ugen shares a report from CNBC: Artificial Intelligence (AI) can now accurately identify a person's sexual orientation by analyzing photos of their face, according to new research. 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, found that machines had a far superior "gaydar" when compared to humans. Slashdot reader randomlygeneratename adds: Researchers built classifiers trained on photos from dating websites to predict the sexual orientation of users. The best classifier used logistic regression over features extracted from a VGG-Face conv-net. The latter was done to prevent overfitting to background, non-facial information. Classical facial feature extraction also worked with a slight drop in accuracy. From multiple photos, they achieved an accuracy of 91% for men and 83% for women (and 81% / 71% for a single photo). Humans were only able to get 61% and 54%, respectively. One caveat is the paper mentions it only used Caucasian faces. The paper went on to discuss how this capability can be an invasion of privacy, and conjectured that other types of personal information might be detectable from photos. The source paper can be found here.
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AI Can Detect Sexual Orientation Based On Person's Photo

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  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Friday September 08, 2017 @11:34PM (#55162823)

    Maybe they're getting interference from a gay weather balloon.

    • All the knowledge of the geniuses involved that created this application, and the question they searched for was, "can you tell from this photo of a persons sexual orientation?" Really?
  • by Baloo Uriza ( 1582831 ) <baloo@ursamundi.org> on Friday September 08, 2017 @11:37PM (#55162827) Journal
    ...definitely applies to this situation. This has some pretty negative implications in particularly homophobic regions. All the more reason not to visit the pacific northwestern US or the middle eastern region in general if this thing gets to be widespread.
    • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Friday September 08, 2017 @11:52PM (#55162877)

      It might have the opposite effect. It is easy to hate a faceless "other". It is harder to be homophobic when you know your friends and relatives are gay.

      One of the reasons that gay acceptance happened so fast is positive feedback. As gays felt more comfortable "coming out", more people realized that "normal" people they knew were gay, leading to even wider acceptance.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by hord ( 5016115 )

        It won't have this affect on government regimes that use this for population control. It won't have this affect on algorithms trained with this inherent bias in them.

        • It won't have this affect on algorithms trained with this inherent bias in them.

          What?

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by hord ( 5016115 )

            What is the need to distinguish gay from straight? It's a false categorization that has limited use in academic studies. It has no use in any social context that respects freedom of the individual. Even asking the question implies some need to put people into slots that we can then later act on. And no, I don't believe that the first question you ask a potential life partner is their sexual orientation. Human behavior is far more subtle and varied.

            My comment also reflects the fact that ML/AI algorithms

            • by mjr167 ( 2477430 ) on Saturday September 09, 2017 @12:51PM (#55165181)

              What is the need to distinguish gay from straight?

              It's important if you are looking for a mate.

    • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Friday September 08, 2017 @11:54PM (#55162883) Journal

      All the more reason not to visit the pacific northwestern US

      Wait, is the Pacific Northwest homophobic? I have some friends that live up in Oregon and they're extremely gay and I never heard them complain about the region being particularly difficult for them. One just sent me a photo taken from his backyard of a mountain being consumed by fire. I'm pretty sure he had nothing to do with that, though, despite the fact that he's flaming.

      (I used this joke with him, too, and he didn't seem to mind. He would have told me if it had offended him.)

      • by skam240 ( 789197 )

        I'll certainly say that I don't know where the parent gets off mentioning the Northwest and not the Southeast but the Northwest does in fact turn very conservative once you get off the coast.

      • Wait, is the Pacific Northwest homophobic?

        There is a thin strip of liberalism along the Pacific coast of America. Then there is a mountain range. On the arid leeward side of the mountains there is the much bigger and much more conservative inland area. Gays are welcome in Seattle and Portland. In Boise, not so much. Just ask Larry Craig [wikipedia.org].

      • by hey! ( 33014 )

        One of the perqs of friendship is license to do things that would otherwise be offensive. In fact C.S. Lewis once noted that once you reach a certain level of intimacy with someone, politeness becomes offensive.

      • I was assaulted in the MAX line in the tube under Washington Park for holding hands with my boyfriend on the Blue train; had my glasses punched through my right ear and a tooth knocked loose. Police response, even though they got the guy, was "don't be gay, then". This was in 2008.
    • The "pretty negative implications" in rural areas of the US already apply to people of color, or women in the middle east. The hateful uneducated in those regions (and a lot of others) is the problem, not that one specific group might possibly lose its stealth ability to avoid discrimination or violence.
    • by sg_oneill ( 159032 ) on Saturday September 09, 2017 @12:20AM (#55162975)

      Ive always said the danger with AI isn't killer robots but killer humans. Machine learning is being used to perpetrate a huge invasion of privacy in the form of "big data" data matching. It's like countless companies , and governments, have deployed armies of robot detectives to sift out or repeat secrets , and not to solve crimes or whatever but to manipulate us into compliant consumers. This particularly feat is even more worrying however because I'm certain theres any number of theocratic fascists regimes , Christian , Muslim and beyond who would be very interested in this. Gay pre-crime , so to speak. Welcome to the future

    • by deesine ( 722173 )

      Best not to visit anyplace your computer tells you is dangerous.

    • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Saturday September 09, 2017 @02:43AM (#55163277) Homepage Journal
      t'hell with that man, what about the poor fucker who finds out he's gay when the AI tells him? That poor guy's mind is going to snap!
    • All the more reason not to visit the pacific northwestern US.

      Damn, you saw through us! All those Gay Pride parades in Seattle, electing a gay Mayor, and rainbow crosswalks were just a clever trap. We're only pretending to be all chill and tolerant, but that's only until all those people finally out themselves, and then we'll have them! Muahahahahah!

    • by Alioth ( 221270 ) <no@spam> on Saturday September 09, 2017 @08:09AM (#55163917) Journal

      The thing is this won't be very useful for that kind of thing - far too many false positives.

      It's estimated that about 5% of the population is gay. With this thing only having an 81% accuracy rate, this means there will be many more false positives than actual gay people - if you took a room with 100 people in, it would misidentify approximately 19 of the people as the sexual orientation they are not - meaning there would be roughly three times as many people mis-identified as gay than actual gay people. In other words, it's not actually very useful.

  • If the AI shows me a picture of Super Pochaco, can it reliably detect my preference? Or maybe it needs a picture of something else on my body?

  • Nature vs Nurture (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 08, 2017 @11:39PM (#55162835)

    If sexual orientation correlates highly with physical appearance, then I think this conclusively proves that sexual orientation is not a "decision."

    * Unless this is picking up on subtle cues like gay men wearing eyeliner and gay women not wearing makeup. (Similar to lots of how gay men speak with an "affliction" and drive Saabs, while gay women drive Subarus.)

    • First off I have a high suspicion this study won't be reproducible. Secondly the TFA has this very interesting paragraph:

      The Stanford University researchers found that gay men and women typically had "gender-atypical" features and expressions. While a person's "grooming style" also factored in to the computer algorithm, essentially suggesting gay women appeared more masculine and vice versa.

      This begs the questions, how much did "grooming style" factor into the apps gaydar, and where did the list of gay and straight "grooming styles" come from?

      On top of all this, TFA doesn't give any details on sample size and I find it difficult to believe they managed to get a large number of pictures of random people... along with the sexual preference of the person.

    • Re:Nature vs Nurture (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Saturday September 09, 2017 @04:27AM (#55163481)

      If sexual orientation correlates highly with physical appearance, then I think this conclusively proves that sexual orientation is not a "decision."

      * Unless this is picking up on subtle cues like gay men wearing eyeliner and gay women not wearing makeup. (Similar to lots of how gay men speak with an "affliction" and drive Saabs, while gay women drive Subarus.)

      No, it could be picking up something subtle about a person's facial expression.

      For something that strongly suggests that it isn't just a decision, google homosexual fraternal birth order.

    • The study says that although grooming styles differ, gay men and women also tend to have different facial shapes from their heterosexual counterparts. It looks increasingly likely that God is making gay babies.

    • I would hardly call heavy makeup for a man a 'subtle' clue...

      Anyway, 91% accuracy is complete disaster. While there is a common feeling that 10% of population is gay, more realistic studies (like ones referenced at https://www.theguardian.com/po... [theguardian.com]), claim between 1.5% and 6%. Even taking highest percentage into account (one provided by pro-gay organization), of 6%, I can write simple gaydar app which will tell 'straight' 100% of time and it will be right 96% of time.

      You cannot take a single measure with x%

      • Anyway, 91% accuracy is complete disaster. While there is a common feeling that 10% of population is gay,

        The training and test samples are probably a 1:1 mix.

        Simple example is machine which detects some rare disease and is wrong only 1% of the time.

        That kind of argument shows that a test is useless for large scale screening, but the test still gives you "meaningful information", otherwise we wouldn't be using HIV tests.

    • If sexual orientation correlates highly with physical appearance, then I think this conclusively proves that sexual orientation is not a "decision."

      Your statement is based on the assumption that all homosexuality is caused by the same thing. (Or all male homosexuality is based on one thing, and all female homosexuality is based on another single thing.) There's also an assumption that sexuality is all-or-nothing, that there aren't people who want sex with anyone, regardless of gender. The second assumption

    • If sexual orientation correlates highly with physical appearance, then I think this conclusively proves that sexual orientation is not a "decision."

      Let's try that with some other attribute: "If physical strength correlates highly with physical appearance, then I think this conclusively proves that physical strength is not a "decision."" Nope, sorry, doesn't work.

      I also don't see what difference it makes anyway whether sexual orientation is inherited or whether it is a "choice".

    • * Unless this is picking up on subtle cues like gay men wearing eyeliner and gay women not wearing makeup. (Similar to lots of how gay men speak with an "affliction" and drive Saabs, while gay women drive Subarus.)

      That is by far the most plausible explanation, the net has been trained to spot differences in gay and straight culture.

      There is evidence that maternal stress is a significant factor. Therefore from a natural selection viewpoint there must be an evolutionary survival advantage that outweighs the obvious numerical dis-advantage. A stressful environment leading to more gay siblings is natural.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

  • Or David Duke or Rick Santorum or "Pastor" Jack Graham or Rick Perry. Them Texas boys are all hidin' something. Mitch McConnel and "Randy" Paul. How about Orrin Hatch?
  • by wisebabo ( 638845 ) on Saturday September 09, 2017 @12:06AM (#55162923) Journal

    I would LOVE to get a copy of this program and, not only try it out on myself and my friends, (I think we're relatively secure in our sexuality) but try it on famous people.

    Specifically: Republican lawmakers and perhaps even Christian preachers! (How about Mr. Macho himself, Putin?)

    I really, really know I'm going to be down-modded for this but please hear me out. Haven't you wondered why those people who are so against homosexuality often turn out to be gay themselves? (Dennis Hastert and that lawmaker caught in the men's restroom soliciting a cop come to mind). Maybe it's because they are so ashamed that the only way they can bury their feelings is to actively suppress it. That's fine if you don't want to face the truth but the problem is being lawmakers, representatives of God, they infringe on many, many other peoples lives. So let's drag them out of the closet and into the photo booth! (Actually I don't think that'll be necessary, from what little I've read about this algorithm it doesn't require any particular lighting or "orientation" (ha ha) for the photo so many of the pictures of these famous people should be just fine.)

    On a more serious note: This is just the latest in a trend of events which a friend of mine has said is "the end of privacy". With technologies like these (soon I'm sure they'll be able to analyze videos to see, by looking at imperceptible* subtle face color flushing and breathing patterns, who is attracted to whom), social media and the hack of personal databases like Equifax, NOTHING will be able to be kept secret. I wouldn't doubt that the CIA is already using some of this stuff to determine, remotely, if someone is lying on camera when they say something. It will be hard to legislature laws to keep it out of business and impossible to keep out of statecraft.

    *imperceptible to humans

    • I would LOVE to get a copy of this program and, not only try it out on myself and my friends, (I think we're relatively secure in our sexuality) but try it on famous people.

      Just wait a few days, and it'll be up on a website, along with a social media platform with a stupid made-up single word for a name, followed by a buy-out offer from one of the big boys, a leak of their database, a scandal and a tag on fark.

    • Wouldn't work.

      91% accuracy? That's enough for plausible denyability.

      • 91% accuracy? That's enough for plausible denyability.

        91% accuracy...let's assume that gay men are 10% of all men. So this program will correctly identify 82% of men as straight, and misidentify 8% of straight men as gay. Similarly, it'll identify ~9% of men as gay correctly, and 1% of them as straight (incorrectly)

        So, it'll show ~83% of men as straight and 17% as gay. And half of the gays it identifies will be straight.

        And considerably worse for Lesbians. Much less Bi's...

        In other words, not terribl

        • 91% accuracy...let's assume that gay men are 10% of all men. So this program will correctly identify 82% of men as straight, and misidentify 8% of straight men as gay.

          If 10% of all men are gay, it could just say "straight" every time and you're up to 90% accuracy already.

          In other words, not terribly useful.

          I fail to see how it could be "useful" in any way - any moral way, anyway - even if it was 100% accurate.

      • by hey! ( 33014 )

        "91% accuracy" is vague. Is that a 9% false *positive* or the false *negative* rate?
        Let' assume 9% is the false positive AND negative rate.

        The percentage of people in the population who self-identify as gay is 3.8%. Yes, this sounds small but gays have an outsized cultural footprint. If you tested a thousand people, there'd be 38 gays in your sample, and your test would correctly identify 36 of them. Of the 962 straight people in your sample, the test would misidentify 87 as gay.

        The probability that some

        • by Kjella ( 173770 )

          You're assuming accuracy is the only useful measure here. If you hate gays and don't want to hire gays you can reduce the risk of hiring someone gay from 3.8% to 0.09*0.038 = 0.34% simply by not hiring anyone who looks gay. You'll also wrongfully exclude 0.09*0.962 = 8.66% of straight people but you got like 88% of the pool left. That might be entirely acceptable to a bigot.

          That said, dating pictures might reflect different courting rituals between heterosexuals and homosexuals that probably won't show up i

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      Years ago I had a rooommate who worked for a local AIDS advocacy group and he said they spent a significant effort targeting a group they identified as "men who have sex with other men but aren't gay". Their logic was that the actual gay community was already getting the message about AIDS, but this group was "outside the envelope" and wasn't exposed to the messages about AIDS *and* a huge potential vector for infection because of promiscuity, denial and so on.

      They were men who identified as straight (and

    • ... that makes guarantee that it is correct.

    • by Mozai ( 3547 )
      Many algorithms are utterly convinced I live in the city Toronto. So much so, they will not show me information outside of Toronto nor give me the option of telling them where I actually live.

      Now what if such an algorithm was utterly convinced I'm homosexual, or heterosexual, and people using that algorithm denied me information because of it?

  • "The paper went on to discuss how this capability can be an invasion of privacy, and conjectured that other types of personal information might be detectable from photos."

    Any information that can be gleaned from a public photo is public, and has no expectation of privacy.
  • The paper went on to discuss how this capability can be an invasion of privacy, and conjectured that other types of personal information might be detectable from photos.

    While walking about yesterday I remember seeing two people that stuck out to me. The dude in the parking lot with the wild hair, wearing eyeliner, a tight black crop top, and purple pants? Probably gay. The short lady that I shared an elevator with, wearing brown jeans, a buttoned up long sleeve shirt, short hair, and comfortable shoes? Probably gay.

    We say a lot about ourselves with how we dress and act. All it takes is someone to notice. There are people trained in this for lots of reasons. I rememb

  • by kenwd0elq ( 985465 ) <kenwd0elq@engineer.com> on Saturday September 09, 2017 @01:19AM (#55163111)

    If the AI were to simply assign scores of "Straight" to EVERYONE, it would achieve 90% accuracy for men and 85% accuracy for women, since about 90% of men are straight and about 85% of women are straight. So scores of 91% and 85% accuracy are not statistically significant.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They measured the ability to determine which is gay and which is straight among a pair of people (one of each) based on their dating profile pics.

      You did not misread the summery though: the summery is simply wrong, and the article is misleading. The paper makes it clear though.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You've lived in some very unrepresentative neighborhoods if you think 12.5% of the human population is gay. Outside of TV shows and movies, mayyybe 4% of the real world population is gay or bisexual.

      • You've lived in some very unrepresentative neighborhoods if you think 12.5% of the human population is gay. Outside of TV shows and movies, mayyybe 4% of the real world population is gay or bisexual.

        Do you have anything to back that up or are you just pulling a figure out of your arse?

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      If the AI were to simply assign scores of "Straight" to EVERYONE, it would achieve 90% accuracy for men and 85% accuracy for women, since about 90% of men are straight and about 85% of women are straight.

      And I'm sure nobody gave a false answer (whether knowingly, or because they have not come to terms with themselves) to whatever your source is for that 90% M / 85% F info.

      • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

        The images came from a dating site, it's highly unlikely that someone who is straight would sign up for gay dating...

        • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

          No, but people who are still in the closet can have a dating profile advertising themselves as straight.

          My point being assigning everyone as "straight" and expecting that to give high accuracy based on some figures doesn't make it true, because what you're comparing the AI's results to can be incorrect just as easily.

          • No, but people who are still in the closet can have a dating profile advertising themselves as straight.

            Why would a closeted gay man bother to go to a dating website and put "hetero" in their profile? I'm confused. These dating sites cost money, right? So, why would they spend money for something they don't even want?

            I'm sure that there are some closeted homosexuals that get hetero dating profiles to "prove" they aren't gay to someone, but that's got to be a number so small that it can be ignored.

            Let's flip this around, would a straight man or woman put homosexual on their dating profile? Would they pay m

            • by Yosho ( 135835 )

              Why would a closeted gay man bother to go to a dating website and put "hetero" in their profile?

              So that they can search for gay men without exposing themselves publicly as being gay.

              Let's flip this around, would a straight [...] woman put homosexual on their dating profile?

              Yes. In fact, it's pretty commonly done so that they don't get constantly spammed by straight men but instead can choose who they contact.

              If they are lying to the computer then they are lying to themselves.

              No, they're just lying to people who look at their profile. They are using dating sites so they can find people they like, not so that other people can find them.

    • I think you need to take a lesson on statistics.

    • If the AI were to simply assign scores of "Straight" to EVERYONE, it would achieve 90% accuracy for men and 85% accuracy for women, since about 90% of men are straight and about 85% of women are straight. So scores of 91% and 85% accuracy are not statistically significant.

      I can see how you would come to that conclusion. Ignorant of science. Don't understand statistics. Didn't read the paper. Don't trust that people actually know what they are doing.

      In the mean time if we employed *YOUR* algorithm you would have hit a perfect 50% given that "Gay and heterosexual people were represented in equal numbers."

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Gay/straight isn't a binary choice anyway. As well as bi people, what is the definition of gay and straight?

      Studies have found that guys who said they were straight often still got aroused looking at gay porn. Other studies that questioned people found that many had had a "gay experience" at some point in their lives and not necessarily hated it.

      This is backed up by real world experience in environments where only one gender is present for long periods of time. Prison, the navy, that sort of thing. Straight

    • by k.a.f. ( 168896 )
      I should hope very much that they took that into account and created an artificially balanced test set, otherwise the study could indeed not be very informative in principle. But the article doesn't say and the paper is yet to appear, so we can really only reserve judgment and wait.
  • It's an invasion of privacy? Bro, you're broadcasting it. Just stop looking so gay. This is not a serious post.
  • Worst idea ever. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DMJC ( 682799 ) on Saturday September 09, 2017 @01:51AM (#55163179)
    This technology should be destroyed and the research should be buried. It could easily end up in Middle Eastern countries where they would use it to kill people based on the algorithm. Usually I don't support suppressing technology, but this is seriously a bad idea.
    • It could easily end up in Middle Eastern countries where they would use it to kill people based on the algorithm.

      Well, the white people anyway:

      One caveat is the paper mentions it only used Caucasian faces.

  • by Pig Hogger ( 10379 ) <pig@hogger.gmail@com> on Saturday September 09, 2017 @02:49AM (#55163285) Journal
    ... they finally got their fruit machine [wikipedia.org]...
  • This is the sorting hat for a future dystopian Harry Potter remake.
  • AI can, in principle, do anything a computing machine can do in principle. As for sexual orientation, there is yet to be devised a sensible theory and classification which doesn't massively oversimplify human sexuality well past the point of taking the piss.

    As such, they're playing the game of keeping definitions fuzzy enough that they can wing it when they write up the paper.

  • When I see ridiculous nonsense like this (just read the title and don't need anything else), the first thing coming to my mind is the surprisingly big number of clueless individuals, completely unaware about that fact, with stupid fears, concerns, expectations, etc. and usually affecting others in the most stupidly arbitrary and unfair way possible. People whose behaviours can be defined with "I don't know about this, but here you have my opinion", "if I see X, it would mean Y, otherwise Z; 100% accurate; w
  • Sometimes AI can do a lot of damage. In many countries homosexual people are prosecuted and cruelly executed. I can’t understand why someone at Stanford thought it was a good to write this.
  • "this capability can be an invasion of privacy"

    As such, licensing fees instead of starting in 5 digits, now start in 6 digits.

  • Not only is gender determined biologically, gender identity can be detected with biological markers.

    If a computer told a person the gender pronoun that their sexual preference aligned with, it would be the punchline of a joke so ironic you would have to take it as evidence there a god.

  • Massively Flawed (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ewhac ( 5844 )
    This study saw some traffic on the Book of Faces last night. I'm not trained in the field of sociology, but between me and my sweetie we were able to spot massive flaws in what will almost certainly be revealed to be a complete piece of shit.

    First off, what they claim to have created is tantamount to computer-assisted phrenology -- long since debunked and tossed on the scrapheap of superstition.

    The most obvious flaw appears here, starting on line 208:

    Facial images. We obtained facial images from publi

    • these idiots failed to account for a common practice among hetero women on dating sites

      I'm sure this is a big concern on their statistics on male pictures.

      All subjects caucasian.

      Not a flaw, just a variable reduction for the purpose of the study.

      No attempt made to account for (or even acknowledge the existence of) bisexuality, transgendered individuals, or asexuals, the latter of whom likely wouldn't be on a dating site.

      So no attempt to account for something which likely reduces the results of their accuracy (which wasn't perfect) combined with a trait that would automatically have been excluded based on the source material? Whoop de fucking do.

      No attempt made to account for economic status and history

      Errr so gay people only look gay if they are rich?

      No attempt made to account for cosmetic surgery or other such treatments.

      Something that would likely emphasise the exact traits they were looking for?

      Honestly they had one

      • Imagine the following training set:

        Input -> Output
        A -> 1
        A -> 2
        A -> 3
        B -> 4
        B -> 5
        B -> 6

        I can think about the following possible answers to the question "by just looking at this information, can you develop an approach able to predict output from input?":

        ANSWER #1. No. There is no way to come up with any methodology delivering even likely-to-be accurate conclusions. If further information is provided, it might be proven that the underlying behaviour might be suitable to be predicted, b
    • by swb ( 14022 ) on Saturday September 09, 2017 @09:47AM (#55164211)

      these idiots failed to account for a common practice among hetero women on dating sites, which is to falsely claim to be seeking other women as a means to reduce or eliminate an onslaught of tacky propositions from clueless het-boys.

      So how exactly does that gambit work for hetero women seeking men? Is this a thing that clued-in men know about? Some secret signaling that says "my profile says woman seeking woman, but I really want guys?" Do they not get an even tackier group of responses from bros hoping they'll hit a jackpot with a lesbian with a secret yen for yang and possibly a FFM threesome? What about fending off the lesbians who take it seriously?

      And then there's the whole potential for lack of response, eliminating non-gross men who think cruising the women seeking women section is tacky and a waste of effort.

      I mean, I'm genuinely curious here, if this is really a thing.

      • by Areyoukiddingme ( 1289470 ) on Saturday September 09, 2017 @01:39PM (#55165501)

        So how exactly does that gambit work for hetero women seeking men? Is this a thing that clued-in men know about? Some secret signaling that says "my profile says woman seeking woman, but I really want guys?"

        Dating websites generally require you to fill out a profile before you're allowed to approach other members. Women seeking men who fill out women seeking women on the website are among the 80% of women chasing 20% of the men. Those 20% know the deal, because they get approached on an hourly basis, and every single woman disclaims her orientation tag in her approach. Those women don't want to be approached at all. They want to do the approaching.

        • by swb ( 14022 )

          OK, I get where that works if your use of a dating site is strictly for sex -- good looking women hunting good looking men mostly for sex can get away with a W4W profile. It either makes them look zestier to good looking guys or the guys just disregard it completely.

          But I'd have to think that there's some kind of selection bias that would result here, like they would be inclined to just attract men who only care about good looking women, which again is fine if sex is your desired outcome. But ultimately w

    • Your violent thrashing has one minor flaw: they created a computer program that will, apparently, correctly predict sexuality from pictures. You can give us a thousand reasons why it cannot possibly work, but none of those are worth shit if it does.

      You say phrenology was debunked. Maybe that was wishful thinking too, and it turns out there was something to it after all. That would be an interesting experiment: let's train this program on mugshots of criminals, see if it can pick those out from normal people

  • About 10% of all people are homosexual (very roughly). Hence a static classifier of value="hetero" has an accuracy rating of around 90%. Given that, the published numbers are not impressive at all.

  • Which side is earring on? Left is right and right is wrong.

  • Many gays adopt certain dress styles and behaviors as a matter of self preservation (not getting the shit beat out of them for making passes at the 'wrong' person). From TFA:

    The Stanford University researchers found that gay men and women typically had "gender-atypical" features and expressions. While a person's "grooming style" also factored in to the computer algorithm, essentially suggesting gay women appeared more masculine and vice versa.

    It really isn't inconceivable that AI could be trained to recognize these features.

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