Originally posted by @mchill
D64 is really modest too!
Ignorant ethnocentric (or racist) Westerners tend to be shocked and incredulous toward
mundane realities that non-Westerners take for granted. These Westerners like to fantasize
that East Asians could do no better than they at recognizing East Asian faces in general.
Here's an article by a Westerner in Japan:
"How to Distinguish Japanese People from Korean and Chinese People"
"Before coming to Japan, I had no idea how to distinguish Japanese, Korean, and Chinese
people from one another. Whilst studying at university in Japan as an international student,
I had more than one experience of mistaking Chinese and Korean people for Japanese
people and speaking Japanese to them."
Please note that I narrowed down the scope of my test to distinguishing between Chinese and Japanese.
If I had to distinguish among Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, and Vietnamese, then the test
would be harder for me (I have less experience around some of these peoples).
A computer can be trained to distinguish among Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese
faces with more than 75% accuracy. That shows that some average differences exist objectively.
It may be taken for granted that a computer has no subjective bias In this matter.
"Every Asian American has been asked this question. A computer gives the best answer."
"To be Asian in America is to be quizzed, constantly, about your ethnicity. What are you?
Where are you from? No, but where are your parents from?
Nowadays, such questions are more awkward than ominous. But there was a time when
this was a national obsession of sorts — when splashy magazines like Life published guides
to help readers distinguish between the “parchment yellow” Chinese with their “finely-bridged”
noses, and the “earthy yellow” Japanese, with their “massively boned faces.”
Recently, computer scientists at the University of Rochester tried to teach an algorithm to
tell the difference between Chinese, Japanese and Korean faces. They wanted to explore
how advancements in artificial intelligence have made it easier for computers to interpret
pictures in sophisticated ways. But, intentionally or not, their research taps into the
uncomfortable history of how Asians have struggled to fit into American life."
"But despite what they expected to be a difficult task, the scientists were surprised to
discover that the computer could achieve accuracy rates of over 75 percent. This is far
better than humans performed on Suematsu’s quiz. The computer’s advantage is that it
could draw on a vast library of faces."
"Psychologists call it the “cross-race” effect: We are much better at distinguishing
members of our own race or ethnicity than members of other races or ethnicities.
Studies suggest that with training, people can improve at recognizing the faces of people
from different ethnic backgrounds."
But arrogant white people like to believe that no one can be better than they at recognizing non-white faces.
Arrogant white people like to believe that they must be the best at doing just about everything.
"The work of Luo's lab REBUKES THE LAZY NOTION THAT ALL ASIANS LOOK THE SAME.
If a software routine can be trained to easily recognize the differences between a Chinese
person, a Japanese person and a Korean person, then that challenges Americans to pay
close attention, to work harder to understand the diverse mix of people living in our nation today."
But many, if not most, other Americans seem much more comfortable with racist sneering
than making any sincere attempt to understand the diversity of Asian Americans.
"Ask any Asian American. Every single one has a well-worn reply to the question:
So where are you really from? When someone demands your ancestry at the beginning
of a conversation — as often happens if you’re Asian — it implies that your genetic history is
the most interesting thing about you. This gets tiresome no matter how proud you are of your heritage."
There's no evidence that this deep kind of prejudice will change toward Asian Americans.