Are Machine Learning Search Algorithms To Blame For Stereotypes?

Do machine-learning algorithms processing search engine queries bring on prejudice, discrimination and stereotyping in query results? Search results have been known to highlight these negative attributes in the past. Now researchers at Brazil’s Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais suggest it could be true when it comes to female physical attractiveness in images available across the Web. The paper submitted to the International Conference on Social Informatics scheduled for publication analyzes how Google and Bing represent female beauty in their image search results, particularly when it comes to different age and racial groups. Virgilio Almeida, Wagner Meira Jr., and Camila Souza Araujo scraped the top 50 images for “beautiful woman” and “ugly woman” across dozens of international versions of Google and Bing. They then passed the more than 2,000 images through a…


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