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Conservative female politicians appear more attractive and happier than liberal counterparts, AI study finds
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Conservative female politicians appear more attractive and happier than liberal counterparts, AI study finds

Conservative female politicians appear to be more attractive and happier than their liberal counterparts, according to an artificial intelligence study conducted in Denmark.

The study – "using deep learning to predict ideology from facial photographs: expressions, beauty, and extra‑facial information" – looked at 4,637 political candidates who ran in the 2017 Danish municipal election. The study excluded candidates with beards because it "can impair some of the subsequent analyses." The study also omitted candidates whose politics were not clearly defined as left-wing or right-wing. Researchers examined 4,647 photos, of which 1,442 were female. The photos were cropped to only show the politicians' faces and the images were grayscaled.

"We combine convolutional neural networks, heat maps, facial expression coding, and classification of identifiable features such as masculinity and attractiveness in our study of political ideology in 3,323 Danes," the authors wrote in the study published in Nature's journal Scientific Report.

"Model-predicted ideology correlated with aspects of both facial expressions (happiness vs neutrality) and morphology (specifically, attractiveness in females)," the study said. "Heat maps highlighted the informativeness of areas both on and off the face, pointing to methodological refinements and the need for future research to better understand the significance of certain facial areas."

The photos were then submitted to Microsoft Azure's Face API — a facial-recognition service that "provides AI algorithms that detect, recognize, and analyze human faces in images."

The analysis determined that right-wing Danish politicians were more likely to appear happy when compared to their left-wing counterparts.

"We also found that expressing happiness is associated with conservatism for both genders," the study read.

"Politicians on the left and right may have different incentives for smiling — for example, smiling faces have been found to look more attractive, which is comparatively important for conservative politicians," the authors said.

The study also found that left-wing female politicians were more likely to have faces showing contempt.

The research also revealed that female conservative politicians were more attractive than liberals.

The study declared, "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," the researchers said.

The study said of male politicians, "Masculine characteristics such as upper body strength appear to be associated with conservative economic preferences, and a preference among conservative voters for masculine-looking males is well established."

The authors noted attractive faces and politicians appearing more competent provided them with an advantage.

"Because attractiveness generally helps electoral success, all candidates are incentivized to provide an attractive photograph," the authors stated.

The trained neural network using AI scored a 61% accuracy rate in predicting political ideology based solely on facial photographs.

A study published in 2017 also found that conservative politicians were more attractive. The study published in the Journal of Public Economics found that right-wing politicians in the United States, Europe, and Australia were more attractive than their liberal counterparts.

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Paul Sacca

Paul Sacca

Paul Sacca is a staff writer for Blaze News.
@Paul_Sacca →