Sexual orientation can be perceived by artificial intelligence, Stanford study claims

Posted at 2:43 PM, Sep 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-11 17:43:37-04

(KGTV) - Artificial intelligence may be able to perceive sexual orientation in faces better than the human brain, according to a Stanford University study.

Dr. Michal Kosinski and Yilun Wang used deep neural networks to analyze more than 35,000 facial images.

The programs correctly distinguished between homosexual and heterosexual men in 81% of cases, and in 74% of cases for women, researchers said.

Accuracy improved when artificial intelligence analyzed five images, including grooming styles, according to the study.

Researchers found lower accuracy rates for human judges asked to interpret sexuality through facial images: 51% for men and 54% for women.

The researchers suggested the findings of the study posed a threat to the privacy and safety of gay men and women.

GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign denounced the study, saying it made inaccurate assumptions.

“Technology cannot identify someone’s sexual orientation. What their technology can recognize is a pattern that found a small subset of out white gay and lesbian people on dating sites who look similar. Those two findings should not be conflated,” said Jim Halloran, GLAAD’s Chief Digital Officer.

“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 dangerous," Halloran said.