The Gender Genie

Inspired by an article in The New York Times Magazine, the Gender Genie uses an algorithm developed by Moshe Koppel, Bar-Ilan University in Israel, and Shlomo Argamon, Illinois Institute of Technology, to predict the gender of an author. Read more about the algorithm at nature.com. —The Gender Genie (Bookblog)

Textually speaking, are you male or female? Use the Genie to find out. Via KairosNews.

Some of the passages that I co-authored with a female student were flagged as female, and even some of the boxes that I added all by myself were tagged as female. Was I miraculously successful at emulating Jessica’s writing style?

The site lets you provide feedback on whether the Genie is right or wrong. Right now, the Genie is just barely over 50% accurate. As it is now, you paste in your text, push a button, read the results, and then either push the “go back button”, erase your old text and paste in new text; or, you tell the Genie whether it was right or wrong, view a popup with the results, close the popup, push “go back,” erase the old text, and paste in new text.

When I give feedback to the Genie, I am committing myself to some extra (boring and unnecessary) steps. When the Genie is right, I am not particularly motivated to tell it so; when the Genie is wrong, I am more motivated to tell it. Thus, it may be the case that the feedback form is attracting more negative than positive responses.

I suggest that on the screen that displays the results, there be two buttons: one pink and one blue; the user clicks “The writer was female” or “The writer was male”, and then is taken immediately to a screen that not only shows the current accuracy ratings, but also has a blank form.