• The Hub

    News, Notes, Talk

    Here’s what that AI face-categorizer did with 12 famous author photos.

    Katie Yee

    September 18, 2019, 12:40pm

    By now, you’ve probably seen the barrage of ImageNet Roulette photos on your Twitter feed. They’re basically just photos of people’s faces surrounded by a green box and a label, based on the site’s guess of what social role you fulfill. (It’s sort of like that app that matched your face to a museum portrait.) But why would you upload your personal photos to this semi-sketchy-looking site? Because according to its about page, ImageNet Roulette is “designed to help us see into the ways that humans are classified in machine learning systems.” And mostly just because it’s fun. (In case you were wondering, I got enchantress, witch.)

    Article continues below

    Here’s how ImageNet Roulette classified these famous writers:

    ImageNet Roulette

    Ernest Hemingway

    The homeless man and the sea.

    Article continues below

     

    ImageNet Roulette

    Stephen King

    To clarify: we don’t think nerd or dweeb are bad things.

     

    Article continues below

    ImageNet Roulette

    Truman Capote

    I am premature baby.

     

    ImageNet Roulette

    Article continues below

    Virginia Woolf

    Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the gin herself.

     

    ImageNet Roulette

    Zelda Fitzgerald

    Article continues below

    Apparently ImageNet Roulette hadn’t heard that F. Scott dubbed her the “first American flapper.”

     

    ImageNet Roulette

    Shirley Jackson

    Just because she wrote some of the most chilling stories of all time, it doesn’t mean she didn’t also play the horn, okay?

     

    ImageNet Roulette

    Ralph Ellison

    ImageNet Roulette sees you, Ralph Ellison.

    ImageNet Roulette

    Shel Silverstein

    Not all bald people.

     

    ImageNet Roulette

    Maya Angelou

    Something something why the caged bird sings.

     

    ImageNet Roulette

    Donna Tartt

    Because of course she is! Look at that stance! That stare!

    ImageNet Roulette

    Joan Didion

    “An actress who specializes in tragic roles.”

     

    And last but certainly not least:

    ImageNet Roulette

    Charles Dickens

    No comment.

     

  • Become a Lit Hub Supporting Member: Because Books Matter

    For the past decade, Literary Hub has brought you the best of the book world for free—no paywall. But our future relies on you. In return for a donation, you’ll get an ad-free reading experience, exclusive editors’ picks, book giveaways, and our coveted Joan Didion Lit Hub tote bag. Most importantly, you’ll keep independent book coverage alive and thriving on the internet.

    x