Artificial intelligence can detect homosexuality by analysing facial features, researchers have said.
In an academic study from Stanford University, the scientists claim that faces contain much more information about sexual orientation that can be perceived and interpreted by the human brain.
The team used deep neural networks, a kind of artificial intelligence algorithm, to analyse more than 35,000 facial images they had collected from a US dating site.
According to the team, the AI was able to correctly distinguish between heterosexual and homosexual men in 81% of cases, and in 74% of cases for women.
Human judges achieved much lower accuracy, with 61% for men and 54% for women.
The researchers claim their results are consistent with the prenatal hormone theory of sexual orientation, which would drive people of differing sexualities to have different physiological attributes.
A composite image of heterosexual and homosexual male and female faces also seemed to suggest that heterosexual individuals were more likely to be overweight.
Gay men and women tended to have gender-atypical facial morphology, expression, and grooming styles, they claimed.
In the authors’ note to the study, they recognise that their means of classifying faces may be detecting something unrelated when making predictions.
We hope that future studies will help to prove or disprove the predictability of sexual orientation from human faces. We have, however, put much effort into controlling this issue.
Responding to the hypothetical criticism that gay men have better style or take better pictures, the researchers said that there was clearly a difference between heterosexual and homosexual faces in terms of morphology.
We would be delighted in our results were wrong, the researchers wrote.
The fact that algorithms can predict sexual orientation from human faces has serious privacy implications.
The ability to control when and to whom to reveal one’s sexual orientation is crucial not only for one’s well-being, but also for one’s safety.
(c) Sky News 2017: AI can detect homosexuality from photographs, researchers claim