Use Image Search To Work Out The Likely Gender From A Name

Use Image Search To Work Out The Likely Gender From A Name

Can’t work out from someone’s name whether a new contact is male or female? Google’s “user happiness researcher” (I’m not kidding) suggests a clever idea: perform an image search for the name and see what kind of photos you get.

In a post on Google’s Inside Search blog, Daniel Russell outlines the technique:

In today’s world, you sometimes only “meet” people virtually. If someone has a name that’s not common in your culture, you may not know if they’re male or female. Here’s a trick: just look for the name in Google Images, like Nikhil, and you should get a pretty good idea.

Obviously, this technique isn’t infallible, but it’s possibly more reliable than trying to work out the usage of the name through seeing what Google Translate throws up. And if you get a mix of male and female faces, you can at least be excused for not being able to make a definite decision.

Tips from Google’s User Happiness Researcher [Inside Search]


    • That’s a bit insensitive — if you’re dealing with someone from an unfamiliar culture, guessing genders is exactly that — a guess. (Though that said, I wouldn’t want to predict the gender of someone called Gene, Sam or Evelyn either.)

    • The article is saying if you’re interacting with someone without seeing them, say via e-mail, and you’re unsure whether they are a male or a female (if their name comes from a culture that is not familiar to you) then you can google image search and look at photos of people with the same name.

      it’s not an article about google image searching for transgendered people with unisex names

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