Reply to post: Re: @gnasher729 - Define gender!

Someone made an AI that predicted gender from email addresses, usernames. It went about as well as expected


Re: @gnasher729 - Define gender!

In context.....

Gender is a (rather imperfect) correlate of consumer preferences. I’m assuming this tool is intended as an input to demographically target ads and marketing. Gender, age, income-level, and education are the usual tickboxes. Google and Facebook “know” your gender, for the purpose of its ads. It certainly doesn’t know your biological sex, how would it. But not only would nobody care, as a marketer you want to know gender rather than sex. It’s not what somebody has in their trousers, it’s which kind of trousers they buy that matters.

There is nothing inherently sexist about this as a tool to generate inputs for a marketing algorithm - although this is clearly very bad at it.

If I sell men’s watches, I would like to target my advertising to male customers, please. I’m perfectly aware that some women buy men’s watches. And some trans men, and some trans women. But given that I’m charged by cost per impression, one way or another, I’ll just divide the population arbitrarily into two, and roughly double my advertising effectiveness, thanks. It’s neither a political statement, nor an imposition of my value system.

However, there very much can be something sexist about the selections that the company doing the marketing uses. E.g. a company selling DIY tools choosing to target men only. That’s almost certainly widespread, and I’m not aware of anyone either checking, nor being hauled over the coals for it. The difference to the men’s watches example, is that the latter is a false belief about what is a statistical correlate, aka stereotype. Failing to be given the chance to buy angle grinders isn’t a real problem in life. However, there are things that could be - e.g. political adverts that run different messages to men and women, or ads offering business franchising opportunities to men only.

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