Thinking Tech

London billboard detects gender and tailors ads accordingly

Posting in Education

A children's charity in London has introduced a bus stop billboard that uses facial-recognition technology to display gender-specific messages.

Image Credit: Plan UK

A children's charity in London has introduced a bus stop billboard that uses facial-recognition technology to display gender-specific messages. Men are shown a simple display of Plan UK's campaign website, but women get to watch a short video promotion of a campaign that advocates for education for girls in developing countries. Plan UK has a very specific purpose for this gender-based advertising: by allowing only girls to see it, they aim to stimulate gender-discrimination and make men aware of what it feels like to be "stripped of basic purposes."

The ad display, which works with 90 percent accuracy, contains a camera that gathers information used by facial recognition technology to determine the gender of a passerby. It's similar to the kind Facebook uses for photo recognition. Though Plan UK has used this technology to get a point across about women's rights, the potential of such ads extends past political application and into the realm of effective marketing as well.

[via The Atlantic]

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Jenny Wilson

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Jenny Wilson is a freelance journalist based in Chicago. She has written for Time.com and Swimming World Magazine and served stints at The American Prospect and The Atlantic Monthly magazines. She is currently pursuing a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure