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Your Sexual Orientation Can Now Be Identified By Artificial Intelligence

An artificial intelligence machine has been developed for guessing your sexual orientation by analysis of your facial features.

Your Sexual Orientation Can Now Be Identified By Artificial Intelligence

AI can guess your sexual orientation

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. AI machine can guess sexual orientation by analysis of facial features
  2. A persons sexual orientation can be derived from biological attributes
  3. Two LGBT groups have termed this study reckless

An artificial intelligence machine has been developed for guessing your sexual orientation by analysis of your facial features. This study was conducted at the Stanford University by researchers Michal Kosinski and Yilun Wang. The study is to be published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and said that the software could do this by analysing facial attributes and structures, as reported by The Economist this month. When the machine was showed the image of a person, it accurately distinguished between gay and heterosexual males in 81% of the cases.

ai can guess sexual orientation

Machine uses facial features to guess SO
Photo Credit: istock

For women, this accuracy rate came down to only 74%. But when the machine was show five facial images per person, the accuracy rate increased to 91% in men and 83% in women. Whereas, humans can figure out sexual orientation correctly 61% times in men and only 54% times in women. This study also suggested that a person's sexual orientation can be derived from biological attributes like hormones which raises questions about individual choices stating if the person is gay or straight.

It was also discovered that gay men and women could possess 'gender atypical' characteristics and 'grooming styles', says The Guardian. In addition to this, it may also mean that homosexual people appear to be more feminine.

Dr Kosinski, one of the researchers, informed that the same artificial intelligence tools can be used for determining other traits in people like their political learnings and IQ. All these raise debatable questions about the possibility of misuse of these machines.

For this, researchers downloaded 130,741 images of over 36,000 men and 170,360 images of more than 38,000 women from a dating site. These images were then subjected to facial-detection system which left 35,326 pictures of 14,776 people.

The machine focused on the nose, eyes, eyebrows, cheeks, hairline and chin for determining the sexuality of men. On the other hand, mouth corners, hair and neckline were chosen as parameters for judging the sexuality of women.

Opposing this research, two LGBT groups have termed this study 'reckless' and have warned against its negative effects.

Critics also suggest that such studies and software, if brought in public domain, can be misused by the government for targeting the LGBT community and pictures from the social media sites can be used for determining the sexuality of a person without his or her consent.

"It's certainly unsettling. Like any new tool, if it gets into the wrong hands, it can be used for ill purposes," The Guardian said while quoting Nick Rule, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Toronto.

"If you can start profiling people based on their appearance, then identifying them and doing horrible things to them, that's really bad."

People have also pointed out that a person's physical features or facial characteristics cannot be used as parameters for deciding their sexual orientation.

"These 'subtle' differences could be a consequence of gay and straight people choosing to portray themselves in systematically different ways, rather than differences in facial appearance itself." Says Professor Benedict Jones, who runs a Face Research Lab at the University of Glasgow. 

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