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AI Can Determine Someone’s Political Ideology With 61% Accuracy — Spoiler, Republicans Are Hotter and Look Happier

A Danish study has found that artificial intelligence can determine someone’s political ideology based on appearance with 61 percent accuracy.

Researchers used photographs and ideological data for 3233 Danish political candidates who have run for local offices to conduct the study.

“Our results confirmed the threat to privacy posed by deep learning approaches,” the researchers wrote in their findings. “Using a pre-developed and readily available network that was trained and validated exclusively on publicly available data, we were able to predict the ideology of the pictured person roughly 60% of the time in two samples.”

The researchers used several techniques, including convolutional neural networks, heat maps, analyses of facial expressions, and assessments of physical characteristics such as masculinity and beauty. They used only photos of candidates with European ancestry, cropped out backgrounds, and made the images black and white to ensure there were no context clues — such as right-wing politicians wearing red and left-wing politicians wearing blue.

“The right-wing faces, particularly for females, might be perceived as more attractive,” the authors noted.

The study demonstrates that “model-predicted ideology connects to independently classifiable features of the face. For females (though not males), high attractiveness scores were found among those the model identified as likely to be conservative. These results are credible given that previous research using human raters has also highlighted a link between attractiveness and conservatism.”

In addition to being more attractive, the study found that people on the right tend to look happier.

“Attractiveness was not the only correlate of model-predicted ideology,” the study states. “We also found that expressing happiness is associated with conservatism for both genders.”

Liberals, they found, tend to have more neutral facial expressions — even in campaign photos that are meant to sell themselves to the public.

A 2017 study titled “The Right Look” found that conservative politicians are more attractive than those on the left.

The study’s authors concluded that “beautiful people earn more, which makes them less inclined to support redistribution.”

“A more general psychological explanation could be that good-looking people are more likely to perceive the world as a just place, since they are treated better than others (Langlois et al. 2000), achieve higher status (Anderson et al. 2001) and are happier (Hamermesh and Abrevaya, 2013) – and a frequent reason for people to sympathize with the left is a perception of the world as unfair,” the authors of the 2017 study wrote. “In line with this, it has been found that greater self-reported attractiveness is negatively related to a preference for egalitarianism, typically associated with the left: The more beautiful people consider themselves, the less they are in favor of redistribution.”

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