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Facial recognition programs are identifying transgender people as their biological sex

The facial recognition programs from major tech companies are frustrating researchers by identifying transgender people as their biological sex rather than the gender as which they identify.

Researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder gathered photographs from numerous Instagram feeds in order to test the facial recognition capabilities of AI from Amazon, IBM, Clarifai, and Microsoft. It found women who identify as transgender men were classified as women a full third of the time. The software was also “universally unable to classify non-binary genders.”

Cisgender men and women — who identify as their biological sex — were classified correctly 98 percent of the time.