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Chatroulette Working On Genital Recognition Algorithm 364

Posted by samzenpus
from the image-recognition-is-a-hairy-problem dept.
Show them while you can, Internet exhibitionists. Chatroulette is working on image-recognition software that will filter out shots of male genitalia. The website's founder, Andrey Ternovskiy, hopes that blocking the offending members will help clean up Chatroulette's reputation. He's even enlisted the help of Napster founder Shawn Fanning. I wonder if someone has told Andrey how well it went for Napster?

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Chatroulette Working On Genital Recognition Algorithm

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  • by Pojut (1027544) on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @12:27PM (#32579790) Homepage

    What if I have a bisected penis, you insensitive clod?!?!? Or maybe just some really flashy jewelry...

  • Oh, I wish this article had a "read more" link to get to the comments...
  • Suddenly... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @12:28PM (#32579806) Journal

    90% of ChatRoulette users get dropped.

    • Seriously (Score:4, Insightful)

      by name_already_taken (540581) on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @12:29PM (#32579828)
      I thought that was what Chatroulette was for.
      • by rwa2 (4391) * on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @01:10PM (#32580486) Homepage Journal

        A friend of mine's description of Chatroulette:

        "How many clicks to dick?"

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TheLink (130905)
      Actually you don't have to block or drop them. If the genital recognition algorithm works, you could just link those users to a video/chatbot that laughs at them. Of course it won't work so well if they drop their pants right in the middle of a session with a real human, but you could still automatically switch quickly to the "chatbot" after that.

      But I thought people that go to chatroulette should be expecting crap like this and worse? I haven't bothered since I don't have a webcam, nor do I want to risk se
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AvitarX (172628)

      Doubtful,

      It's not that there is a huge quantity of wang, it is simply that the secret wankers are nexted very quickly.

      My 20 minute conversation pulls a random aussie out of rotation for over 100 times as long as I pull a secret wanker out of the running (ten seconds tops if the screen loads slowly).

      This leads to the secret wankers being very over-represented. If 1/3 of the shots are wankers, that's about .3% being wankers.

  • Excuse me while I whip this out.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by somaTh (1154199)
      I hope the filter is hard on people. They need to understand there are stiff rules.
  • by spleen_blender (949762) on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @12:29PM (#32579818)
    They should make an algorithm that filters IN tits.
  • Priorities (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ltap (1572175) on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @12:29PM (#32579824) Homepage

    Chatroulette is working on image-recognition software that will filter out shots of male genitalia.

    I guess we know where their priorities lie...

    • by TitusC3v5 (608284)
      Last time I checked, Chatroulette wasn't plagued by a horde of women flashing their genitalia on camera.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        There's actually a pretty decent amount of it, albeit a small fraction of the amount of male genitalia. Strangely enough though, it has not drawn a proportionate number of complaints.

        • by Ltap (1572175)
          I think that if they broadened their genital-blocking horizons, their userbase would dry up.
  • by jfengel (409917) on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @12:31PM (#32579848) Homepage Journal

    The way I read this, it says, "ChatRoulette is a great idea. The only problem is that there's too much penis. Get rid of that and it'll be fine."

    Uh, no. Trolls will troll. Showing your junk to the camera is the easiest and most obvious way, but even if you cut that out you'll just face the next thing down the pike. You're never going to out-grief the trolls.

    They're going to need something a lot more sophisticated than that. Google's Safe Search uses word context clues. It's far from perfect, but it seems to do a reasonably good job. If ChatRoulette doesn't want to be overrun with trolls, they're going to need to think at least that creatively, which means gathering up a lot more information than "that looks like teh peener".

    • Re:GREAT IDEA! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @12:48PM (#32580124) Journal

      You're never going to out-grief the trolls.

      Woah - hold up a second. Thats a great idea. No you see what they are trying is not to grief the trolls, but keep them out of the system. The idea of outgriefing a troll is an excellent idea, it should be taken to the next step.

      Instead of disconnecting or dropping a user that shows his penis, instead flood his browser with tons of gay porn and goatse. Then, cause a whole bunch of message box popups that he can't get out of without killing the browser process.

      And thats just an idea off the top of my head. I think if you put more thought into it, you could find some great ways to out-grief the trolls.

      • Actually - that's a great idea. Griefers will grief, it's what they do. But if your anti-griefer measures are t ogrief the griefer, they might actually get tired of being griefed themselves and stop griefing. i'd liek ot see this in a MMO. Where someone corpe camps a much lower character and GM's show up and corpe camp th griefer! haha.
    • I guess it depends on the trolls. Is that guy who makes up songs on his piano a "troll"?

      I don't use ChatRoulette, but the reputation is that there's too much penis. Get rid of that, and then see what it has a bad reputation for, and try to get rid of that.

    • by EnsilZah (575600)

      People are still going to die in car crashes so what's the point of using seat-belts and airbags?

  • What? (Score:5, Funny)

    by SnugglesTheBear (1822258) on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @12:32PM (#32579860)
    I thought the whole point of chatroulette was a gamble between seeing an actual person or just a dude jacking off.
  • Really... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by doctor_nation (924358) on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @12:32PM (#32579866)

    I don't understand why they don't have a simple voting system. If a user does something bad or obscene, vote them down. Then match the poorly rated people with each other. Or just have an obscenity button and if a person triggers it multiple times they get kicked off.

    • by sznupi (719324)

      "Then match the poorly rated people with each other"

      Oh how that should be the way in social networking... ("poorly" being relative of course; more of a folksonomy in the style of Last.fm that really matches like-people)

    • Ok, now seriously, what do you think the chances of trolls just voting down average people are? Pretty high.

      In all honesty, isn't the entire point of ChatRoulette just to troll people?
    • by RESPAWN (153636)

      We see how well that system works for slashdot...

    • by jadrian (1150317)

      I've thought of something similar. Come up with a paid membership site that people can use to be matched up specifically to the guys who are flagged on chat roulette.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jayme0227 (1558821)

      What happens when the trolls start just reverse-modding people en masse?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by welcher (850511)
      They do have an obscenity button -- three people push it and you are out.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by discord5 (798235)

      Then match the poorly rated people with each other. Or just have an obscenity button and if a person triggers it multiple times they get kicked off.

      Foolproof! Nobody is ever going to abuse that system.

  • But... but... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @12:32PM (#32579868)
    What about the people who want to look at boners? Won't somebody please think of the perverts?!

    Though really this is an opportunity waiting to be snatched up. Chatroulette has demonstrated that there is a huge userbase just waiting to wave their willies on camera, so all somebody need do is create software that does something similar, and then make it known that 'this is the new place to flash people on teh intarwebs!' and BOOM instant userbase (= MONAY).

    If I weren't so lazy I'd do it myself.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by uncanny (954868)
      it's called the rest of the internet
      • I can't believe you were modded up for that. 'The rest of the internet' is diffuse and unstructured and makes the process of looking at and/or delivering live wangs a tedious process limited in scope by time and resources. By consolidating a service with a single purpose the process is streamlined and the scope expanded to include more desired content in one place.

        Why do you think there are so many pr0n-oriented YouTube clones? The significant features excluded in the biggest services are going to be in d
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by maxwell demon (590494)

      What about the people who want to look at boners? Won't somebody please think of the perverts?!

      Anyone who wants to see male genitalia is a pervert? What about all those who want to see female genitalia?

      • That was sarcasm. It was meant to parody 'think of the children'. I also think that 'pervert' is a word that can be rehabilitated like 'geek' or 'nerd'. I am not in the least bit afraid or ashamed to self-identify as a pervert.
  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @12:33PM (#32579878) Homepage Journal

    Chatroulette is working on image-recognition software that will filter out shots of male genitalia.

    So women can show their hoo-ha, but I can't show my ting-ting? Where's the ACLU on this one?

  • Whatever. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by garcia (6573) on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @12:33PM (#32579884) Homepage

    Chatroulette has long featured the rawest side of humanity -- copulating couples, men taking their pants off, and so on. But it also allows for a potentially rewarding (and potentially lucrative) random human connection, and that's what interests investors.

    While for me Chatroulette was nothing more than a one-time novelty and an interesting experiment by Ben Folds, I understand it may have a larger value to others. Unfortunately this sounds like Chatroulette is suddenly going to suck the same dicks they are eliminating because someone wants to make a buck.

    Let it continue on in the way it has or let it die. Let's stop bastardizing stuff because a bunch of investors don't like others seeing the raging members sticking out from their foreheads.

    • by LS (57954)

      Ok. So why don't you set up your own version and cover the hosting fees? Oh wait....

      • by garcia (6573)

        Ok. So why don't you set up your own version and cover the hosting fees? Oh wait....

        Oh wait...yeah, I don't see any value in it so I'm not going to do it. But for the things I do find value in, namely covering local political news and data, I do pay the self-hosting fees associated with it.

        But you don't care about that because it doesn't fit with your troll. At least if you're going to make a dig on someone using a long running Slashdot meme, you might as well do it with a clue.

    • While for me Chatroulette was nothing more than a one-time novelty and an interesting experiment by Ben Folds

      I suspect that's what the recognition software is to him. Luckily he gets to play with investors money this time around.

    • Re:Whatever. (Score:5, Informative)

      by citylivin (1250770) on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @03:58PM (#32582684)

      "While for me Chatroulette was nothing more than a one-time novelty and an interesting experiment by Ben Folds"

      Well I don't know who "ben folds" is, but chatroulette was started by a russian teen programmer named Andrey Ternovskiy, who had positive experiences meeting people of other cultures in his uncles(?) Moscow based tourist shop. He tried to recreate this on the web. His vision was random people in the world having video chats to each other, to share knowledge and experience.

      There was a whole newyorker article [newyorker.com] on chatroulette. I am not surprised that he is trying to monetize it, as he is young and had alot of interest stateside (as to be expected with any viral hit web 2.0 application).

      Just because it was a novelty *For You*, does not mean that you get to attribute your, shall we say "wild guesses" to the motivations and ideals behind the site. They discuss cocks and stuff in the new yorker article and it seemed to me that he was planning some sort of filtering to make it more usable. You are always going to get trolls if you have a purely anonymous fourm. Fighting trolls on the internet is a skill one has to acquire and adapt. This is what he seems to be doing, in a slightly comedic but genuinely interesting way. He seems like a bright kid, so i wouldnt write him off as a one hit wonder yet.

      "Let it continue on in the way it has or let it die. Let's stop bastardizing stuff because a bunch of investors don't like others seeing the raging members"

      You seem to be under the mistaken impression that chatroulette was designed to display cocks. Raging members might be what your biases have led you to focus on, but it was never "the way" of the site, any more than slashdots way is penis birds or gnaa trolls. Perhaps if you actually read a bit more about the topic before commenting, you wouldn't be so mistaken in your key assumptions. (you must be old here, mr 4 digit userid!)

  • The link to expand out this story says "View Picture". Needless to say, Do Not Want when main topic is male genitalia.

  • escalation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @12:34PM (#32579898)

    This will just result in games where people try to post non-genital pics that get filtered and genital pics that don't.

  • by 91degrees (207121) on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @12:34PM (#32579900) Journal
    Faces are a much better understood problem. And since all most of the users want is to see people face to face refusing to show the image (or at least providing a warning) if no face is present would be a much easier solution.
  • and we can an offenders database or such, tracking down pervs and all sorts of fun can be had. I figure if they can filter it they can go further and you know that some government agency or misnamed trust will snap the idea of this and run with it.

    Never browse chrome kitchen appliances on ebay.... sometimes you don't want to know what the reflection is

  • FTA:

    Only recently has it become easier to cut off offensive users; a New Yorker profile last month noted that Ternovskiy made some changes after Ashton Kutcher berated him about what his stepdaughter had seen on the site.

    I'm not sure who was actually Punk'd here...Demi's daughter or Ternovskiy.

  • Hey, I am looking for a tool...
  • I'm going out on a bit of a limb here, so bear with me if you wood...

    But seriously, figuring out an algorithm to ID wangs; sounds like those developers are going to be eyebrow deep in junk for a while. That's a job, much like plumbing, that I can appreciate for the value of the product, but can't fathom the drive to devote oneself to.
    • THIS a thousand times THIS!

      This is possibly the only way anyone could ever convince Mike Rowe that software engineering could be a dirty job. I suspect it will have much the same effect as durian fruit has on Andrew Zimern.

      All I have to say is "DO NOT WANT!"

      • by blair1q (305137)

        How did Zimmern react to Durian?

        I thought it was pretty tasty even if the smell was evil.

        But more on-topic: considering the Internet, and the lives of Software Engineers, I suspect they've seen enough cock (going into pussy, mouth, anus, cloaca, etc.) to have fully inured themselves to any revulsory effects that might result from tediously iterative use-case testing of a visual regex for it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Locke2005 (849178)
      Pity you've never met any software developers that weren't straight males...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Kozz (7764)

      ...figuring out an algorithm to ID wangs; sounds like those developers are going to be eyebrow deep in junk for a while...

      Actually, I very much doubt there could be found a good algorithm. I mean, machines can only do so much but I expect the best work to be done by hand.

  • What (Score:5, Funny)

    by jsegal205 (1468223) on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @12:50PM (#32580170)
    about all those times I am sitting on ChatRoulette eating hotdogs?
  • by stakovahflow (1660677) on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @12:52PM (#32580208)

    It looks like the line that reads:
    "...hopes that blocking the offending members will help clean up Chatroulette's reputation."
    should read:
    "...hopes that blocking the offending members' members will help clean up Chatroulette's reputation."

    Just my $0.02...

    --Stak

  • by jridley (9305)

    There's a development project I definitely don't want to be in on. Testing that code would leave scars.

  • by arc86 (1815912) on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @12:55PM (#32580266)
    ...cockblock"
  • by mojo17 (607881) on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @12:59PM (#32580324)
    It'll be interesting when they start getting false positives: "Sorry dude, but you actually DO look like a dick."
  • Hope this works (Score:3, Interesting)

    by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @01:00PM (#32580328)

    When I first heard about Chatroulette, I thought "what a cool idea?" Then, when I heard about how many sickos are wanking and flashing wiener, that killed it for me. I don't think this algorithm will work, but if they can figure something out before they get branded as that "cock flashing website" they'll probably bring in more prudish people like me.

  • What? (Score:5, Funny)

    by guspasho (941623) on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @01:01PM (#32580356)

    "I wonder if someone has told Andrey how well it went for Napster?"

    I didn't realize that Napster's failure was due to its single-minded focus on creating a genital recognition system.

  • by kiehlster (844523) on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @01:02PM (#32580362) Homepage
    I'd hate to be on the QA team that gets to test that "feature"... Charlie, can you please stop pulling out your thing and just use a dildo like the rest of us?
  • Programmer 1: So, yeah, we need more pictures to feed to our AI.
    Programmer 2: They're on this jump drive. Should I plug it into the front USB port, or the rear?
    P1 firmly grabs the drive, and plugs it into the closest port he could find
    P1: Wow, that's...quite a load.

  • an old WANG algorhythm...
  • The issue with Chatroulette is that there's complete anonymity. No persistent identity, no reputation, nothing to enforce any sort of social norms.

    If you want to meet new people via video chat, I am sort of sad to admit, but doing it in the context of a social networking site like Facebook might make more sense. Not that I specifically advocate Facebook, for a variety of reasons, but it's there and lots of people use it.

    There are several Facebook apps that let you do this - because you are connected in to

  • My first read of the headline thought of Genital Recognition in the same way that Facial Recognition (there's some prime joke material right there) is used. Basically, trying to ID people by their genitalia. So when I got to the bit about male genitalia, I thought "Who'd want to do that???"

  • But Not Female? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @05:03PM (#32583460) Homepage Journal

    Cool.

  • by Michael Kristopeit (1751814) on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @05:19PM (#32583614)
    i did a general pornography detection filter as a final project in an image processing class my senior year of undergraduate college... their best hope is around 90% detection with ~15% false positives. for the applications i was shooting for, that wasn't acceptable... for chatroulette, it might be, but even at 95% you're still getting 1/20th of the dicks. if most people on the network are dicks, that might still mean getting a dick almost every time. might as well just start selling boner pills and embrace your market rather than attempt to squash it.
  • by uassholes (1179143) on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @05:50PM (#32583912)
    "Offending members". He he.

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