More details of the model and training data

This is an appendix to “Is that a boy or a girl? Exploring a neural network’s construction of gender”.

For the model, I wanted to start with the simplest possible approach, because this was my first machine learning project. I followed this TensorFlow tutorial, which involves taking an existing deep neural network that has been trained to do image classification, and retraining the final layer of it to classify new categories of images. …


Exploring a neural network’s construction of gender

I’ve always been curious about what makes someone “look” male or female, probably because I’m female but have never looked conventionally feminine. I was a tomboy as a child and remained one as an adult, and I’m also tall, with unruly hair that’s easiest to keep short. So strangers often assume that I’m male: in restaurants and on planes, I’m often addressed as “sir”.

People who know me well are usually surprised that anyone could think I was male. But I don’t find it that surprising — we don’t tend to really look closely at strangers, and just make broad…


When designing for the web, you can analyze usage data for your product and compare different interfaces in A/B tests. This is sometimes called “data-driven design”, but I prefer to think of it as data-informed design — the designer is still driving, not the data.

To make this work in practice it’s important to use the right metrics. Basic traffic metrics (like overall page views or number of unique users) are easy to track and give a good baseline on how your site is doing, but they are often not very useful for evaluating the impact of UX changes. …

Kerry Rodden

Consulting in data visualization, UX, data science. Exploring AI/ML. Ex-Google/YouTube. Trying not to lose my Scottish accent or forget my UK slang. She/her.

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