NPR

Can A Machine Tell Whether You Are Gay?

A new study shows that deep neural networks, DNNs, can determine sexual orientation from facial photos with high accuracy. Blogger Alva Noë examines what this might mean — and the potential pitfalls.
Drawing on databases of images collected from an online dating site, a new study conducted at Stanford University concludes that faces carry information about sexual orientation. / a-r-t-i-s-t / Getty Images

Drawing on databases of images collected from an online dating site, a new study conducted at Stanford University concludes that faces carry information about sexual orientation.

This information is not available to visual inspection by ordinary perceivers. But it can be extracted by powerful, pattern-recognizing machines ("deep neural networks" or DNNs).

According to the , which has also been reported , and , a

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR2 min read
Tobe Nwigwe: Tiny Desk Concert
The Houston-based rapper's mindful words are like a life hack for anyone seeking guidance, with pleas to look past inherent hardships and evil and to stay focused on life's ultimate prizes.
NPR5 min read
Trolled Online, Women In Politics Fight To Hold Big Tech Accountable In The U.K.
The move in Europe to get tough on tech is partly thanks to an awakening that began with the experiences of women in politics.
NPR5 min read
Why European Restaurants Are Much More Vigilant About Food Allergies
Dining out can be fraught with hidden perils for people with food allergies. European allergen disclosure laws have made restaurants highly aware of the issue. But U.S. rules lag.