Friday, September 09, 2016

You have to be careful with your training sample

If you don't choose wisely, your Artificial Intelligence beauty contest judge will wind up famous for the wrong reasons.
"The idea that you could come up with a culturally neutral, racially neutral conception of beauty is simply mind-boggling."

The case is a reminder that "humans are really doing the thinking, even when it’s couched as algorithms and we think it’s neutral and scientific," he said.

In counting aspects of beauty, do you weight a symmetrical aquiline nose more heavily than steatopygy? There's a good chance some other culture disagrees.

The article goes on to complain about algorithm-based law enforcement tactics, but that's a bit different--most people fear violent crime more than white-collar theft, and the unhappiness arises from the fact that the loci of violent crimes tend to cluster, and so do the side effects from policing.

But an algorithm for most beautiful? I remember one day waiting for a ride at Union South, and looking at the people around. One young lady seemed more attractive than the rest, and for want of more noble things to think about I tried to figure out why. I finally realized that she resembled my wife.

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