Dating Profiles are Like Gay Bars: Peer Review, Ethics and LGBTQ Big Data

(Posted 9/13; updated 9/14. My original critique is here; and my resource of relevant blogs, media reports, and Kosinski statements is here). “Under ethical review,” announced The Outline, of the Wang and Kosinski pre-print paper that controversially claimed to use face-recognition technology to detect intrinsic differences between homosexual and heterosexual faces. The statement came from … More Dating Profiles are Like Gay Bars: Peer Review, Ethics and LGBTQ Big Data

Tracking Wang and Kosinski’s AI Gayface Controversy

(Posted Sept. 13, updated Sept 16). This post tracked early responses to to Wang and Kosinski’s preprint paper that claimed their deep neural network’s ability to identify gay faces was evidence of the prenatal hormone theory of homosexuality, and exposed heretofore unknown threats to LGBTQ people in authoritarian regimes. My Sept. 9 blog post critiquing … More Tracking Wang and Kosinski’s AI Gayface Controversy

Artificial Intelligence Discovers Gayface. Sigh.

AI Can’t Tell if You’re Gay… But it Can Tell if You’re a Walking Stereotype. [First published September 9th. This post has been updated with subsequent information, denoted by square brackets, cited on this resource of responses to the story by tweeters, bloggers, media, and Kosinski himself. My reflection on peer review, ethics, and LGBTQ … More Artificial Intelligence Discovers Gayface. Sigh.

Who Needs Gay Bars? Summer 2017 Tour, Updated

First published May 17. Gay bars are closing and there’s misleading agreement on why: gentrification, social networking apps like Grindr, and the rise in the social acceptance of gays and lesbians. Yet bars are closing fastest in the regional cities of Middle America, such as Cleveland or Birmingham, cities where gentrification is a pipe dream, … More Who Needs Gay Bars? Summer 2017 Tour, Updated

Gay bars and danger

This piece was picked up by The Daily Beast, thanks to Melissa Petro of Becoming Writers and including suggestions from TDB editors and several friends. Read it here, or contact me for the archived version. Save Save Save

1/3 Whatever happened to obscene phone calls?

Hello? You never hear about obscene phone calls anymore, despite everyone having a phone in their pocket. Yesterday’s item about the guy who was issued Sir Mix-A-Lot’s old phone number treats it as a joke, but I remember being taught in school around 1984 about the danger of “heavy breathers.” At the same time, Barry … More 1/3 Whatever happened to obscene phone calls?

Against moral panic (for cultural politics)

Pundits, sociologists, and activists frequently use the term “moral panic” to describe what they perceive as a public overreaction to an issue (or non-issue). Examples include “Prostitution and Human Trafficking – The Anatomy of a Moral Panic,” “What’s Flakka and is it Real? A Guide to the New Moral Panic Drugs,” From Miasma to Ebola: … More Against moral panic (for cultural politics)

The Traffic in Deer

Deer trafficking: another example of the spread of what I call trafficking talk, or the traffic in trafficking. Recent headlines include Two Florida Men Sentenced for Trafficking in Deer or Deer-Trafficking Scheme Nets Record $1.6 Million Fine Up until around 2010, news outlets usually called such crimes “smuggling,””poaching,” “illegal sales” or “illegal transport” (the earliest … More The Traffic in Deer