Computer says…

// 29 July 2008

Mike On Ads has a mildly amusing toy which analyses your web browser history to estimate your gender… (Or should that be "construct your gender"?)

Mike says that the idea of this kind of analysis is far from new and he points out that Xerox actually made an application to patent the process.

Of course there are potentially not-so-nice social engineering uses for a script like this – although most webby social engineering trickery pales into insignificance if you believe even a zillionth of the rumours about the amount and type of data collected by a certain well-known search engine. And don’t even start me on the potential information disaster in waiting that is a famous social networking site…

So click over to Mike’s and have a go. Put your results in the comments here and let’s all have a bit of a smile at the foolishness, waste-of-time-ness, predictability and bah-humbug-ishness of it all…

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 87%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 13%

Yeah baby! I’m (nearly) all woman! Rawrrr!

(Cross-posted at bird of paradox)

Comments From You

Cath Elliott // Posted 29 July 2008 at 5:34 pm

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 8%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 92%

Ummmmm. No.

chem_fem // Posted 29 July 2008 at 5:41 pm

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 54%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 46%

I’m AMAZED! I do nothing but trawl feminist and knitting sites. This is entirely my own computer too.

Apparently it made its decision based on the fact that I blog.

ConservaTorygirl // Posted 29 July 2008 at 5:44 pm

I haven’t looked at it yet but can’t help wondering whether porn increases your chances of turning up male…

Anna // Posted 29 July 2008 at 5:53 pm

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 45%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 55%

not bad. if they’d taken my usually excessive 4chan browsing into account I reckon I’dve come up a lot more boy though.

Jack Pandemian // Posted 29 July 2008 at 6:13 pm

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 50%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 50%

Heh.

Betsy // Posted 29 July 2008 at 6:27 pm

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 47%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 53%

Oh…

Lynne Miles // Posted 29 July 2008 at 6:45 pm

I’m straight up 50:50. My cache is unreadable. And I’m suddenly feeling rather enigmatic and liking it ….!

Laura // Posted 29 July 2008 at 6:50 pm

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 45%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 55%

interesting

Abby O'Reilly // Posted 29 July 2008 at 6:54 pm

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 38%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 62%

I’d cleared my history before I saw this, so that’s on the basis of having looked at facebook, my e-mail account, amazon and google, hehe…

Anne Onne // Posted 29 July 2008 at 7:24 pm

Heh I’m 51% male and 49% female. Apparently google is mostly used by men, which somewhat amuses me. I’d like to try this again when I haven’t fairly recently got rid of my history, though. That would be more interesting…

Anne // Posted 29 July 2008 at 7:29 pm

I’m: 54 % female and 46 % male. almost 50/50, as I would have guessed.

Anj Green // Posted 29 July 2008 at 7:59 pm

Chances are that big “man” points are earned for porn while shopping will net massive “woman” points.

So I spent an hour, like I do every day, shopping for shoe porn and I… think I’ve broken it.

Kat // Posted 29 July 2008 at 8:29 pm

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 25%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 75%

OMG, I’m a man O_o Probably because I’m writing my Computer Science dissertation recently…

But I must admit that the way results are calculated is little bit impressive. Nice use of Bayes rules :)

Jennifer-Ruth // Posted 29 July 2008 at 8:40 pm

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 3%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 97%

Go figure…!

Nonny Mouse // Posted 29 July 2008 at 8:41 pm

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 24%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 76%

And I’m female!!!

Helen G // Posted 29 July 2008 at 9:05 pm

Anj Green: Pfft! You and your shoe pr0n, breaking the intermawebs! So that explains my latest result:

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 58%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 42%

In fairness, my first result was from my work computer and, yes, I had spent most of my lunch hour online window-shopping. This one is from my home computer, mostly blog browsing (mainly trans and feminist), couple of news/current affairs, plus my eleventy zillion emails…

Girl with a one track mind // Posted 29 July 2008 at 9:31 pm

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 0%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 100%

Oh, how wrong could they be. Still, it’s not the first time I have been accused of being a man…

But am slightly (OK, a lot, actually) miffed that just because I look at a lot of news and tech sites, that that somehow defines me as ‘male’. Pfft! Sexist dross!

Shev // Posted 29 July 2008 at 9:47 pm

Female 39%

Male 61%

Bcause apparently gender-neutral sites such as ebay, google, stalkbook, and hotmail are all about teh menz…… Oh, and the f-word!

Eleanor T // Posted 29 July 2008 at 9:49 pm

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 76%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 24%

So apparently a woman does this job, because I’m at work and look at nothing but work-related sites. THAT’S INTERESTING!

Laura // Posted 29 July 2008 at 10:22 pm

70% female. Prime culprits seem to be the inevitable fbook, and jezebel.com.

kristy // Posted 29 July 2008 at 10:52 pm

50% either way… i guess that means he didn’t get enough ground breaking info from my history to gender me but doesn’t want to admit it?

Snuffles // Posted 30 July 2008 at 12:46 am

(never posted before – love the site!)

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 67%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 33%

I just wanted to make the comment that despite feminism, despite the funny dumbness of making such a toy, despite even the unexpected answers (icanhascheezburger and ebay male? booking travel sites female?) – I still have to admit to being momentarily disappointed at being more ‘female’. I’ve still got that internalised ‘being male-like makes me cooler!’ thing going on. Even with internet quizzes! Bah.

Gillian // Posted 30 July 2008 at 1:15 am

89% male. I’m genuinely pretty surprised, I visit nail polish websites all the time – perhaps they don’t have the stats for those kind of things, though.

Sarah // Posted 30 July 2008 at 10:23 am

I’m 51% female, 49% male. haha!

Levantate // Posted 30 July 2008 at 10:29 am

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 35%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 65%

Wrong!

And why is google considered more “male”? And the BBC…..?

Jessica // Posted 30 July 2008 at 10:32 am

I find it interesting that factual information is classed as male. Looking at their list of comments, it appears that facebook and other email or communitcation sites are classed as female.

Rather biased, no?

Site Male-Female Ratio

bbc.co.uk 1.44

guardian.co.uk 1.33

telegraph.co.uk 1.5

independent.co.uk 1.5

Laura Woods // Posted 30 July 2008 at 10:46 am

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 41%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 59%

Hmmm, pretty close… Apparently the male thing is mainly because I spend quite a lot of time looking at the IMDb. And we all know only men care about films…

Charlotte // Posted 30 July 2008 at 2:34 pm

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 40%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 60%

umm…right?!

Sabre // Posted 30 July 2008 at 4:17 pm

Female 42%, Male 57%

I am female and work in an engineering organisation therefore spend a lot of time looking up technical info and policy info and reading newspaper and government websites. In my breaks I obviously lose my work-penis and often look at feminist websites, holiday websites (ahh escapism) and Ebay.

Fay // Posted 30 July 2008 at 4:23 pm

50% Female, 50% Male, apparently.

Huh. Not so much.

Becky // Posted 30 July 2008 at 5:43 pm

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 7%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 93%

LOL.

Kath // Posted 30 July 2008 at 6:02 pm

It’s not making assumptions about your gender or about the gender of people who visit specific sites. It’s just a probability calculated on the male:female ratio of visitors to sites that have collected that data (don’t ask me how).

Me:

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 34%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 66%

Looking at the F word hasn’t helped my ‘female’ rating as it isn’t listed. Even Jezebel has slightly more male than female visitors.

Holly Combe // Posted 30 July 2008 at 6:04 pm

I finally managed to receive a verdict on my own computer… It’s 50/50. However, I’m not sure how representative it is because I can only get it to work in Opera (which I don’t use much) and I don’t think that takes the browsing history from Firefox or IE. (?)

On my partner’s computer, I got 46% female and 54% male but, again, it probably only represents my session on that occasion, (i.e Facebook, F-word and Yahoo) as he has it set to clear the browsing history after every session.

Carrie // Posted 30 July 2008 at 6:27 pm

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 18%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 82%

Hahahaha. That’s because I read news sites, check the cricket score, and play World of Warcraft, y’see.

Jaime // Posted 30 July 2008 at 8:08 pm

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 8%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 92%

I’m female, maybe people always expecting to me to be male has finally taken it’s toll on me….. :-) My ‘male’ habits seem to be imdb, Play, ebay, Amazon etc.

My boyfriend got: (he uses firefox, I use IE)

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 35%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 65%

He seemed to have similiar results to me except that his love of cooking meant he had several recipe sites making him more womanly than myself.

Davina // Posted 30 July 2008 at 9:35 pm

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 47%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 53%

Yeah, give a shit.

Hayley // Posted 31 July 2008 at 12:09 am

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 48%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 52%

hmmmmm

Anitha // Posted 31 July 2008 at 12:30 pm

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 31%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 69%

I am Female.

Sig // Posted 1 August 2008 at 2:10 am

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 28%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 72%

I come out actually pretty even if it weren’t for the bittorrent sites (piratebay has a 2.13 male skew). Guess not very many women like to pirate using bittorrent.

Lara The Second // Posted 2 August 2008 at 11:20 pm

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 55%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 45%

Nice.

Kirsty // Posted 8 August 2008 at 11:17 am

Female 39%

Male 61%

Largely based on my frequent visits to Amazon. Books are just for men? :/

Aimee // Posted 19 August 2008 at 2:34 pm

Ahem

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 43%

Likelihood of you being MALE is 57%

Site Male-Female Ratio

myspace.com 0.74

wikipedia.org 1.08

facebook.com 0.83

gamefaqs.com 1.11

azlyrics.com 0.79

isohunt.com 1.94

hotmail.com 0.83

google.co.uk 1.35

play.com 1.04

I’m more of a boy ‘cos I look at tab websites and buy cds, which are definitely boy things. Gah. Why doesn’t The F Word come up?

Qubit // Posted 19 August 2008 at 3:07 pm

It seems to be a really simple algorithm that uses data collected about the gender variation of visitors to each website to then calculate the probability of you being male or female. From what it said on the website the data was collected from a reasonable survey and it only uses a limited number of the most popular websites.

A cleverer system would be to use a genetic algorithm changed the probability values dependent upon your gender. It could then incorporate websites that the viewers had used to build up the database. If done effectively this would make the system far more reliable and less prone to apparent sexism in the choice of sites.

The two possible ways to do this would be either change the results if the gender is predicted beyond a certain probability however this could lead to a proliferation of false results. Another way would be to get people to confirm their gender at the end. This could lead to the results become skewed by people trying to fool the analysis.

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