Is Google reverse image search sexist?

A quick one and rhetorical question for you today…

I’ve become quite fascinated with https://thispersondoesnotexist.com/, which generates random real-looking faces. Most of the time. Sometimes it generates people with half glasses, messed up ears, or creepy meat bag half formed faces to the side. You just hit refresh and every time you do so, it generates a new face. (If you search for the URL, you will find articles explaining the technology behind it. Quite fascinating.)

But here’s an odd behaviour of Google’s reverse image search, after searching on two randomly generated images…

gentleman

girl

(Edit: I’ve set the images above to link to the image search so you can see for yourselves. They do actual reverse image searches using the images I uploaded to Facebook, so if ever the algorithm changes, the results you’ll see will be different.)

  • A reverse image search of a young man, who does not exist, comes back as gentleman.
  • A reverse image search of a young woman, who does not exist, comes back as girl.

Hey Google, what’s up with that?

2 thoughts on “Is Google reverse image search sexist?

  1. I didn’t want to edit the post again, but I have experimented some more and reproduced the “gentleman” vs “girl” resulting suggestion many times. Even a thirty something looking woman comes back as “girl”, while a much younger man comes back as “gentleman”.

    So it has to be a deliberate choice made in the code of the search algorithm.

    Liked by 1 person

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