Google’s new Photos app has made great strides in facial and object recognition. So much so that the system itself is able to sort images according to categories without user input. However, nothing is perfect, as computer programmer Jacky Alcine discovered after he was tagged as being a gorilla in several photos.
Alcine posted a screen shot of the problem to his Twitter feed as proof that some images which feature a female friend were tagged as gorillas. There were no other features in these images, which is almost certain proof that the system was tagging African Americans as large black apes.
@jackyalcine Holy fuck. G+ CA here. No, this is not how you determine someone's target market. This is 100% Not OK.
— Yonatan Zunger (@yonatanzunger) June 29, 2015
Fortunately, Google quickly responded to the Tweet. Google’s Chief Social Architect Yonatan Zunger replied with a rather blunt Tweet, saying how that this problem was “100% not okay”; although there was a bit more swearing involved as well.
Zunger has admitted that there are still issues with the facial recognition systems. Aside from the problems with recognising black people as gorillas, the algorithm also tends to tag people of all kinds as dogs. Google is currently working on fixing the issue, and has removed the word gorilla from the list of categories for Google Photos as a temporary measure.
[Source: Ars Technica]