Racism scandal: Facebook algorithm thinks black people are monkeys | Life & Knowledge

Because of artificial intelligence!

A Facebook algorithm mistook black people for monkeys. Users who watched a video titled “White man calls police about black men at the port” were asked by Facebook whether they “would like to continue watching videos about primates”.

A Facebook spokeswoman confirmed the incident and called the racist proposal a “clearly unacceptable mistake,” as the “ New York Times ”reports. According to its own information, the social media platform has now switched off the suggestion function in order to prevent further incidents.

The mistake is particularly embarrassing for Facebook because the said clip shows a racist verbal attack on a group of blacks and Latinos from June 2020.

According to their own statements, the five young men wanted to celebrate the “Juneteenth” weekend, which commemorates the end of slavery in the USA, with a boat tour at the port of Stamford (US state Connecticut). A white resident who was later identified as Steve Dudek, 57, argues with them about whether they can put their boat in the water. On the phone, Dudek told the police, “I’m being molested by a bunch of black guys. Yes, molested. White lives count too. “

▶︎ What the video doesn’t show: Shortly afterwards, Dudek attacks four of the men with pepper spray. Particularly bitter: According to “Stamford Advocate”, one of the victims is himself a police officer. Following the racist attack, Dudek was charged with assault and emergency call abuse.

There are no jungles or primates in the harbor video.

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Facebook wants to study how artificial intelligence could come up with such a primitive proposition. “Even if we keep improving our artificial intelligence, we know that it is not perfect,” said the spokeswoman.

Trendy software: Google thought blacks were gorillas

It is possible that Facebook’s face recognition software caused the error. Because: The faces that recognition software is fed with are often mainly white. Some data sets consist of 80 percent white faces, as reported by the New York Times.

This tendency makes facial recognition software work worse on black people. In 2015, Google had to apologize because its software thought African Americans were gorillas.

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