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Facebook Apologizes For AI Labeling Black Men As ‘Primates’ In Video Gaffe
By Alexa Heah, 07 Sep 2021
Image via Chinnapong / Shutterstock.com
Recently, Facebook users who were viewing a video featuring a group of Black men received an automated prompt asking if they wanted to “keep seeing videos about Primates.” This “unacceptable error” is the latest gaffe involving possibly racist artificial intelligence (AI).
According to The New York Times, the video, which was uploaded in June 2021 by UK tabloid newspaper The Daily Mail, showed a group of Black Men in a dispute with police and other civilians.
As more news outlets picked up the story, Facebook came out to apologize for the error, and said it had disabled the AI-powered feature. It will also investigate the matter further to ensure such offensive prompts don’t pop up again.
“As we have said, while we have made improvements to our AI, we know it’s not perfect, and we have more progress to make. We apologize to anyone who may have seen these offensive recommendations,” the company said in a statement to the media.
As per CNET, this issue further highlights the problem surrounding social media, AI, and race.
In May this year, Twitter had to abandon its new “intelligent” photo cropping function, as it was shown to have a racial and gender bias. To rectify the problem, the company paid a user US$3,500 for demonstrating how its AI favored slimmer people with fairer skin.
With AI becoming more common worldwide, will developers be able to advance the technology enough to keep up with a surge of new users from outside the US? We sure hope so.
[via CNET, cover image via Chinnapong / Shutterstock.com]
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