Immirant or expat?

If I say "John is a migrant" or "John is an expat" how do you picture John in your head? Does he look the same? Why do you choose to use migrant instead of expat? And yet, the two terms have the same meaning.

The persons here portrayed are not real, of course. They are the creation of a machine learning system called GAN. They have been generated drawing from two different datasets of portraits. In one dataset the people portaied were tagged as "immigrant", while in the other one as "expat". In such a process where you can generate images on a very bug scale, it’s easier to understand the bias permeating these two words.

What is the power of language? Why do we choose a word instead of another? How does media affect our perception of different words with same meaning? And how inconsciously biased are we when we choose a word over another?

This is an experimental project that wants to underline how society, media and our own experience of the world shapes our mind, often also in a biased manner.

If you want to reply a few questions about the project or report any issue, click here.

If you want to learn how a machine would categorise you, click here.

This experiment was conceived and created by me and Maria Ghetti, and made possible by Runway ML. For any additional information, question or complaint you can email me here.