A New AI Program Claims To Predict Criminality Based On Yr Face

Next up in 2016’s lineup of utterly baffling events comes a computer program that can allegedly tell if you’re a criminal by simply analysing your face. 

Forget your clean record champ, you straight up just look like a bloody criminal, so you best be changing your face. 
Researchers from China‘s Shanghai Jiao Tong University recently published a paper titled Automated Inference on Criminality Using Face Images in which they explored artificial intelligence correctly identifying convicted criminals purely by their facial features. Frighteningly, they reckon it works.
By feeding ID photos of convicted criminals and innocent citizens into AI and machine learning algorithms, they were able to identify certain facial features that predict criminality. The program identified those with a criminal record with 89.51 percent accuracy. 
“All four classifiers perform consistently well and produce evidence for the validity of automated face-induced inference on criminality, despite the historical controversy surrounding the topic,” says the paper.
“Also, we find some discriminating structural features for predicting criminality, such as lip curvature, eye inner corner distance, and the so-called nose-mouth angle.”
The researchers insist the data sets were controlled for race, gender, age and facial expressions, but in all honesty, we’re not sold, hey. The whole thing is essentially a modern form of phrenology, a thoroughly disproven pseudoscience that relied on measurements of the skull. 
Look, there’s a lot of problems with this entire idea, the most concerning being, oh, you know, the entire fucking notion of literally judging someone by their face. I don’t care how smart your algorithm is, somewhere along the line some poor innocent bloke is gonna get pulled up for having the lips of a criminal, according to some computer program. How many Brendan Dassey‘s could this kind of technology wrongfully send to prison?
Of course, we’re a long way off this kind of thing becoming useable and thankfully, humanity seems to be erring on the side of caution thus far. We’re still grappling with the ethics of AI and until we wrangle that wild horse, we should stay the fuck away from this and anything like it.
We’re all Tweak.
Source: Motherboard.
Photo: The Simpson.

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