AI Can Determine Sexuality Based on Photos of People's Faces

Pride woman

Advances in AI are used to spot signs of sexuality

AI's power to pick out patterns is now turning to more intimate matters. The researchers, Michal Kosinski and Yilun Wang took images using "deep neural networks", which is a sophisticated mathematical system that analyses visuals based on a dataset. One's face, on the other hand, can not be easily concealed.

That is from looking at a single image.

These images were fed into a software named VGG-Face, which assigns a "faceprint" number to each face. The next step was to use a simple predictive model, known as logistic regression, to find correlations between the features of those faceprints and their owners' sexuality (as declared on the dating website).

Artificial intelligence can now tell whether you are gay or straight simply by analyzing a picture of your face. The opposite was true for gay women, who generally had larger jaws and smaller foreheads. In both cases the level of performance far outstrips human ability to make this distinction. Compare this to humans - 61 per cent for men, 54 per cent for women. This aligns with research which suggests humans can determine sexuality from faces at only just better than chance.

Country Music Hall of Famer Don Williams dead
Some of the artistes who worked on the project are Krauss, Chris and Morgan Stapleton, Garth Brooks , and Dierks Bentley. His stardom also earned him a few movie roles, including a cameo as himself in 1980′s " Smokey and the Bandit II ".

"The point is not that Dr Kosinski and Mr Wang have created software which can reliably determine gay from straight". According to them, as a fetus grows in mother's womb, it's exposed to different hormones-including testosterone-that play a part in the development of facial structures.

Considering how some of the identifying features are clearly not the result of fashion choices - like the width of the forehead, the length of the nose, and the shape of the jaw - it certainly supports the idea that sexual orientation is linked to early development. In men, the nose, eyes, eyebrows, cheeks, hairline and chin were the most informative spots, while the nose, corners of the mouth, hair and neckline offered cues in women.

The study has limitations.

The images and the sexual orientation information were drawn from an online dating site. After feeding five pictures of a man to the AI, it accurately guessed whether that man is gay or not with a remarkable accuracy of 91 percent.

'Significant damage': Trails torched by Eagle Creek Fire
Hundreds of homes have been evacuated so far in OR and neighboring Washington state, and officials say more could be coming. People in OR enveloped their faces to protect themselves from the smoke and the ashes falling on them. (AP Photo/Randy L.

This sounds like an impressive rate of accuracy, but the system is flawed. First, the fact that the faces of gay men and lesbians are, on average gender atypical, does not imply that all gay men are more feminine than all heterosexual men, or that there are no gay men with extremely masculine facial features (and vice versa in the case of lesbians). When asked to select the 100 males most likely to be gay, only 47 of those chosen by the system actually were, meaning that the system ranked some straight men as more likely to be gay than men who actually are.

So what, exactly, was "gay" about these faces?

Importantly, we would like to warn our readers against misinterpreting or overinterpreting this study's findings. "At a time where minority groups are being targeted, these reckless findings could serve as weapon to harm both heterosexuals who are inaccurately outed, as well as gay and lesbian people who are in situations where coming out is risky". That was not their goal.

Dr Kosinski is no stranger to controversial research. Donald Trump's campaign and Brexit supporters in the United Kingdom reportedly used similar tools to target voters and help them achieve victory. However, Kosinski and Wang also warned of the potentially unsafe ramifications such AI machines could have on the LGBT community.

Trump steps into Qatar crisis, pushes end to terror financing
Qatar hosts a huge American air base, home to the headquarters of Centcom - the regional command which leads operations against the Islamic State jihadist group.

Latest News