back to article Google gets woke on gender in Vision API, Amazon happy to sell its facial recognition code to foreigners, and more

Hello readers. If you're struggling to keep up with all the AI-related news spewed out and have already read what we've covered this week, then here's more. Me, sexist? No! What’s gender anyway?: Google’s Vision API, a service that offers pre-trained computer vision models for image recognition, will no longer identify gender …

  1. codejunky Silver badge

    Eh?

    "Given that a person's gender cannot be inferred by appearance"

    So google is now telling us that all these centuries of man finding woman and vice versa is now something that cannot be achieved? Or only by computers?

    "The classification of male and female doesn’t apply to everyone"

    Nope it seems google has given up on the real world and gone woke. I am assuming it now correctly identifies not only 60+ genders but also the trans species and apache helicopters?

    1. baud Bronze badge
      Trollface

      Re: Eh?

      It's just too hard for the code monkeys working at Google, so they just chose to give a positive spin to their incompetence

    2. katrinab Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: Eh?

      Could you identify the correct gender, every time, just from one photograph, even if all the trans people were taken out of the sample?

      If for example, you usually choose to date women, there's probably some women you have seen that you don't like the look of because they look too masculine.

      Also, some of the factors that determine the difference in appearance between people of different genders are also factors that determine the difference in appearance between people of different races. The brow ridge is one such example.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Eh?

        @katrinab

        "Could you identify the correct gender, every time, just from one photograph, even if all the trans people were taken out of the sample?"

        Hell no of course not. I have been mistaken for a woman from the back. However once the claim 'The classification of male and female doesn’t apply to everyone' is made it is clear that mistakes are not being discussed.

        I have no issues with the varying difference nor if google said the AI sucked at identifying between male/female or race or anything. But they seem to have stated it isnt due to mistakes but the popular insanity of the masses.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What on earth does 'WOKE' mean?

    just asking as it sounds stupid.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: What on earth does 'WOKE' mean?

      @AC

      "just asking as it sounds stupid."

      Not sure of the official definition but woke seems to be typically used to mean stupid so you guessed right.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What on earth does 'WOKE' mean?

      It means "I can't argue with this morally but I can complain about how trendy it is to care about other people, like some kind of loser!".

    3. Hollerithevo

      Re: What on earth does 'WOKE' mean?

      It originally meant something along the lines of 'awakened to the realisation that there are oppressions, vantage-points and lived experiences that are outside your own personal ken that you would be aware of and sensitive to, so that you can respond courteously and helpful and not like an entitled little shit'.

      Now it can be a way of trolling people for their deficient caring or sensitivity.

      In the same way 'politically correct' originated when 'the personal was the political' and it was realised that calling someone by a word they hated was rude, offensive, and in the end oppressive - because calling someone, say, 'coloured' when they prefer 'African American' says that you don't give a flying fuck about how they feel, and that they'd like control over the terms used to them and about them.

      Again, over time, this became a term misused and then mocked, and sometimes mocked for the very reason it came into being: people want to lord it over others or not to think about them by assuming that their own experience is the standard and that all others' is deviant and therefore deficient.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ""Given that a person's gender cannot be inferred by appearance, we have decided to remove these labels in order to align with the Artificial Intelligence Principles at Google, specifically Principle #2: Avoid creating or reinforcing unfair bias,"

    Sex rather than the modern subjective and unveriable concept of 'gender' can be quite accurately inferred from appearance.

    The self reported gender of people is well correlated with sex so there is no issue with reporting sex and if people want to they can infer gender understanding that they may be wrong in some cases. Where in this process is bias? There are errors, no system will be perfect, but no inclination or bias for and against anyone let alone that it is unfair.

    The statement that 'gender cannot be inferred from appearance' is flat out wrong, it can be with a reasonable degree of accuracy but it will not always be correct.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Instant fail

      Gender and sex aren't the same thing. Sex refers to which genitals people have. Gender is a social construct.

      The statement that 'gender cannot be inferred from appearance' is completely correct.

      1. baud Bronze badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Instant fail

        And that's why the poster above made the distinction between the two. And I like how you selectively quote the post, just to support your misconstruction of their point.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Instant fail

        Heck, I've seen some videos of genitalia where you'd be hard pushed to classify the sex of the individual!

        1. WolfFan Silver badge

          Re: Instant fail

          Only if you're talking about spotted hyenas and montremes among mammals, and various non-mammals including many but not all birds and almost all reptiles and amphibians. Spotted hyenas are a special case; girls are usually bigger and more aggressive than boys, and have, ahem, psuedopenises, which are bigger than the boys' penises. Yes, really. I'd like to see someone get 'woke' with a girl spotted hyena; misgendering one of them is likely to get their full and complete attention, not something most who aren't lions really want, and even lions will go out of their way to avoid angering hyenas.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Instant fail

            I'm talking human primates. But I guess that's kind of niche. Unless you're researching that field in a *cough* purely medical capacity of course.

  4. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    No Shit, Sherlock .....

    When pressed with the fact that some countries that the US can trade freely with are known for enforcing oppressive regimes and human rights abuses, Jassy said: “Yeah, again, if we have documented cases where customers of any sort are using the technology in a way that’s against the law or that we think is impinging people’s civil liberties, then we won’t allow them to use the platform” — meaning all of AWS, not just Rekognition.”

    If all of that was not just so much bullshit, Uncle Sam would be rightly fcuked, for is there anyone else with approaching a thousand foreign military bases spreading all kinds of rash viral diseases and explosively self-destructive diatribes. That is wanton systemic abuse and criminal misuse, if ever there was one. What fool and/or tool would follow and/or allow that utter perversion with further supplies for corruption and perversion ‽ . Would IT be Anyone Sane?

    Jassy talk with forked tongued, KemoSabe.

    1. Cliff Thorburn

      Re: No Shit, Sherlock .....

      Interesting article in the Guardian recently along similar lines ....

      https://www.theguardian.com/law/2020/feb/21/un-rapporteur-warns-of-rise-of-cybertorture-to-bypass-physical-ban

      All very interesting, and quite true, take it from such a cybertortured individual.

      Kinda makes me want to return to more normal times where the rule of law applied, and no one was above such, instead we live in times of great games player crazy big banker bonafide great games with complete disregard for destroying lives, and virtual violations of privacy and political puppetry, sad sad times indeed...

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: No Shit, Sherlock .....

        Kinda makes me want to return to more normal times where the rule of law applied, and no one was above such, instead we live in times of great games player crazy big banker bonafide great games with complete disregard for destroying lives, and virtual violations of privacy and political puppetry, sad sad times indeed... .... Cliff Thorburn

        Was there ever such a more normal time where the rule of law applied didn't supply its dependent justice system its myriad suspected criminals for prosecution and persecution?

        Is such an incestuous self aggrandising relationship whenever one strips it down to its bare bones skeleton ...... and a nice little earner for key players/participating puppets and muppets into selling souls in exchange for luscious lucre rewarding one with a dogged sense of righteous purpose which can easily be remarkably delusional?

        Rad mad bad times indeed be they, CT, creating as they do such clear targets for constant undivided attention.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020