Study: A.I. Can Determine Sexuality Based on Photos of People’s Faces

Ian Waldie/Getty Images
Ian Waldie/Getty Images

Artificial intelligence can “accurately” determine whether you’re gay or straight, using photos of your face, according to a study.

The Guardian reports, “The study from Stanford University – which found that a computer algorithm could correctly distinguish between gay and straight men 81% of the time, and 74% for women – has raised questions about the biological origins of sexual orientation, the ethics of facial-detection technology, and the potential for this kind of software to violate people’s privacy or be abused for anti-LGBT purposes.”

“The research found that gay men and women tended to have ‘gender-atypical’ features, expressions and ‘grooming styles’, essentially meaning gay men appeared more feminine and vice versa,” they explained. “The data also identified certain trends, including that gay men had narrower jaws, longer noses and larger foreheads than straight men, and that gay women had larger jaws and smaller foreheads compared to straight women.”

Pictures of 36,630 men and 38,593 women were used for the experiment, taken from online dating services. Humans “accurately [identified] orientation only 61% of the time for men and 54% for women” in comparison to the artificial intelligence, which was also able to accurately predict sexuality “91% of the time with men and 83% with women” when shown five pictures of the same person.

In their article, The Guardian claimed that the “findings provide ‘strong support’ for the theory that sexual orientation stems from exposure to certain hormones before birth, meaning people are born gay and being queer is not a choice.”

The study did not include those who are transgender or bisexual, and black people were also excluded from the experiment.

Charlie Nash covers technology and LGBT news for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @MrNashington and Gab @Nash, or like his page at Facebook.


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