Tuesday, March 12, 2013

But I know what I like

This should be bad news for the Anti-discrimination industry;

Sexuality, political leanings and even intelligence can be gleaned from the things you choose to "like" on Facebook, a study suggests.
Researchers at Cambridge University used algorithms to predict religion, politics, race and sexual orientation.
The research, published in the journal PNAS, forms surprisingly accurate personal portraits, researchers said.
Such as;

The algorithms proved 88% accurate for determining male sexuality, 95% accurate in distinguishing African-American from Caucasian-American and 85% for differentiating Republican from Democrat.
Christians and Muslims were correctly classified in 82% of cases and relationship status and substance abuse was predicted with an accuracy between 65% and 73%.
The links clicked rarely explicitly revealed these attributes. Fewer than 5% of gay users clicked obvious likes such as gay marriage, for instance.
Instead, the algorithms aggregated huge amounts of likes such as music and TV shows to create personal profiles.
Which would seem to be the death knell for 'statistical discrimination' tests (of the sort that one Supreme Court Justice was embarrassed by in her confirmation hearing).  

People are different, and have different tastes!  Easily to include differences in educational attainment and employment, no?

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