Whether or not fat is what's being detected depends on the dataset I suppose, though.
Edit. I never complain about downvoting (who cares it is just HN), but what exactly are people downvoting?
It is a well known side-effect of the older anti-HIV drugs to lose fat from the face (it tends to be deposited around the belly and organs). Even if you controlled for overall weight, then you would still need to control for facial fat separately.
That may not be what you intended, but it's one way of reading your comment that can come across negatively.
Unfortunately in the population studied (white americans) HIV is far more prevalent in men who have sex with men (>70% of all new infections) than in heterosexual men and women. If your two populations vary significantly in any factor you need to control for it or make sure you rule out that it is significant - this is science 101.
Having read the paper and authors notes, it appears that facial fat differences are unlike to be the signal being detected.
It is not my hypothesis that weight differences is the signal being detected, it is the GPs. I was just pointing out that facial fat may not correlate with weight in the different populations studied.
Mmm, given that the system was correct 80% of the time and the majority of fat people are not gay, then this can't possibly be true, right?
I'm curious if this is backpedaling, or if he did clearly call this out before starting. Not that backpedaling in the face of death threats is that terrible...
Advocacy groups like Glaad and the Human Rights Campaign denounced the study as “junk science” that “threatens the safety and privacy of LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ people alike.”
If you wanted to railroad someone specific into a confession you wouldn’t use this research, you would just use a lie detector. Potential harm can only arise if this research is not junk.
The real risk is that we sleepwalk into letting governments and large corporations build these systems without any discussion of the consequences.
Potential harm can certainly arise if the research is junk. People misuse research or believe in junk research all the time. Just look at the anti-vaccines crowd.
I agree on your third point.
Blackmailers will have a field day.
See, if an insurer, in the extreme case, can make a perfect prediction of whether the presumptive customer will get the disease (or whatever the insurance is about), then it would offer insurance to the ones who won't need it and not offer insurance (or offer it at a price that is too high to be useful) to the ones who do need it. The customer who is offered insurance will thereby learn that he doesn't need it, and will decline the offer!
Is this the end of insurance? Insurance is of value to both sides. Is it really reasonable that we can't extract this value if one side can predict the future?
I think the rational solution might be for the insurance company to introduce some randomness when making their offers, so that the customer can't for sure know, by looking at the offer, whether he will be sick or not. I haven't calculated more precisely what the optimal strategy of the insurer would be. It would presumably depend on the utility functions of both parties.
Realistically, I think that having perfect information about one person and about biology and stuff still doesn't give you enough information to predict whether they'll get various diseases. If there is any validity at all to "exposure to X causes cancer", then no amount of information about one person will help you predict whether they'll get exposed to X. Or whether they'll trip, fall, and break a bone. And, really, I expect that the perfect state of knowledge of human biology would merely allow you to deduce "person X has x% chance of developing disease D during the next ten years; person Y has y% chance". So there would still be a role for insurance companies for the risk-averse.
My family name on mother's side was Gaydarovi (-ovi)
Just a fun fact!
I don't think the comparison to humans is the interesting thing here. The thing of interest is what can be said at all, by human or by computer, by looking at a picture.
I don't really understand the outrage, however. Some in the article claim that it's "racism" and hurts Dr. Kosinski's career, but the fact that he made a program that predicts who is gay and who is straight with odds much better than a coin flip is crazy! If they find out what the differences are between heterosexual and homosexual pictures, they may discover something that was never noticed before, whether it's a physiological trait or a difference in the photo taken due to behavioral differences.
We really are living in the future.
edit: To those downvoting me, could you please explain why? I don't think I said anything particularly controversial.
I'd like to ask someone to articulate the reasons for this outrage. I don't really understand, wasn't this created to show the dangers of facial recognition systems, didn't they have to pick something edgy to get that point across?
They're claiming to be able to detect gay people but it seems like the system has to be coaxed very carefully into doing that and seems very limited. They built a purposefully inflammatory tech demo that seems to do more to betray their distance from the topic they're studying than it does bolster their reputation. At least from my perspective.
Are these two sentences meant to be related to each other, or am I misreading your comment?
According to the article, they found few profiles of non-white homosexuals.
Not make the experiment and then note that "btw, don't call us out on our poor data, it's not our fault, we tried our best".
Especially so if you're perfectly aware of how controversial your study may be considered.
She should have used "bigotry" or "discrimination" instead.
Now imagine the ramifications of having an app that can reliably tag people as gay or suchlike. How do you think that's likely to get used in the real world?