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Beauty contest's AI judge accused of racism

By midian182 ยท 14 replies
Sep 9, 2016
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  1. Last month, the first international beauty competition to be judged by an artificial intelligence took place. 600,000 people from 100 countries entered the contest, with algorithms picking male and female winners from the five age categories. But Beauty.AI’s creators are now worried that they unintentionally made their AI racist.

    Virtually all the 44 winners, which you can see here, were white. There were a small number of Asian people, while just one of the picks had dark skin.

    Alex Zhavoronkov, Beauty AI’s chief scientist, told The Guardian that the problem was the data used to establish standards of attractiveness did not include enough minorities. Meaning that while the algorithms weren’t designed to treat light skin as a sign of beauty, the input data led the AI to reach that conclusion itself.

    “If you have not that many people of color within the dataset, then you might actually have biased results,” said Zhavoronkov. “When you’re training an algorithm to recognize certain patterns … you might not have enough data, or the data might be biased.”

    The five algorithms used in the Beauty.AI 2.0 contest were supposed to rate people on different facial elements: the number of wrinkles in relation to their age group, pimples and pigmentation, similarities to models and actors within the same age and ethnic group, facial symmetry, and the difference between perceived age and actual age.

    The incident has been compared to Microsoft’s Tay, the chat bot with the personality of a 19-year-old American girl that was released earlier this year. Less than 24 hours after going live, Tay, which picked up on the personalities it chatted with over social media, started using racist language. Microsoft quickly pulled the project.

    A new Beauty.AI contest takes place this fall. Zhavoronkov says this time the AI won’t be so discriminatory when choosing winners: “We will try to correct it.” But the other problem is that the algorithms still don’t seem to be the best judges of beauty.

    “I was more surprised about how the algorithm chose the most beautiful people. Out of a very large number, they chose people who I may not have selected myself,” said Zhavoronkov.

    Permalink to story.

  2. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,138   +1,556

    Why is this even a thing? Meaning a beauty AI. I guess beauty is not in the eye of the beholder anymore.
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,153   +3,575

    I heard their first choice was a toaster, but it got disqualified because it was only the two slice model ...... More racist decisions against the four and eight slice models!!!! Off with their power cords!
    Lionvibez, Phr3d, bmw95 and 2 others like this.
  4. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,758   +1,149

    I said this on the other post, "that's racist".
  5. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,625   +2,364

    All toasters are beautiful.
  6. Levi Sterling

    Levi Sterling TS Booster Posts: 80   +26

    This just in, someone creates a machine that does things based on the data that all of humanity was interested in giving them. Is called racist by people who refused to help
    Yynxs likes this.
  7. Nero7

    Nero7 TS Evangelist Posts: 372   +150

    ...I guess no one told them that the highest achievement for asian woman is to look western, including plastic surgery.
  8. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 829   +439

    So AIs are finally here. I wonder how upset they would get if we judged them.
  9. Yynxs

    Yynxs TS Addict Posts: 201   +78

    /sigh. I wonder why they're so obsessed with beauty? If you're going to teach an AI something, teach it "this is ugly". That should generate some rulesets to talk about.
  10. Levi Sterling

    Levi Sterling TS Booster Posts: 80   +26

    They have no emotions
  11. LiveResistance

    LiveResistance TS Booster Posts: 85   +65

    LOL...You can't make this stuff up sometimes. I bet the A.I. is also sexiest, bigoted, homophobic, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, xenophobic. Is there any I've missed?
  12. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,363   +608

    Like children, the AI is a reflection of its creator. So if there is anything wrong with the AI's "judgement," look no further than its maker. With actual children there are always exceptions to the rule but with the AI, not so much.
    Lionvibez likes this.
  13. lripplinger

    lripplinger TS Addict Posts: 284   +99

    Why is it even called "Artificial Intelligence", when "AI" is a computer program made by humans. How can it "judge" anything when humans created the software to begin with. And of course this whole article is pointless, and has the usual dribble pointing to political correctness about not enough "minorities"..blah blah blah. So sick of it.
  14. Timonius

    Timonius TS Evangelist Posts: 648   +58

    AI still has a long way to go. Introducing aesthetics (or any other philosophical branch) to AI development is like trying to explain rocket science to a rock.
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,696   +3,848

    Well now, all you have to do is to breed some extra leg length into them, from some good, Caucasian stock. Preferably from the Ukraine or thereabouts. Forget the eyelid surgery though. In fact, mixed race women, (Eurasian), can make a good living for themselves modeling in Japan. They still look Asian, but with those long legs, wow!

    Case in point, Devon Aoki:


    treetops likes this.

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