helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

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Laptop camera "is racist"!

This video is making the news: HP Computers are racist. "Black Desi" and "White Wanda" show what happens when they move in front of a new HP laptop with a face recognition camera. The camera moves to track the light-skinned woman, but does not move for the dark-skinned man - even when he gets close.

Of course, the computers aren't really racist - it's a technology problem to do with lighting and shadows. Kudos for the video makers in pointing out the issue without losing their sense of humour. Still, you have to wonder - do technology companies not think to routinely test out "people recognition" technologies with people of many different appearances? including different ages, races, and the disabled, whose faces may not move in a typical way? If not, why not? If technology doesn't work in the same way for everyone, then it is a sort of racism by omission or lack of thought. Unintentional, but hurtful nonetheless.
Tags: links, racism, thoughts, videos

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