Google's New Photo App Makes Terrible Racist Faux Pas

That was one heck of a mistake, Google. The tech giant has a storage system that lets you save an unlimited amount of pictures online as well as use handy features like their image-recognition algorithm, which allows you to quickly search your photos for, say, your adorable pup, or specific people. Unfortunately, someone recently noticed that Google made a very racist mistake with how it classified some pictures of black people.


Computer programmer Jacky Alciné was horrified to discover that Google Photos classified some images of black people as "gorillas." Yeah, so that happened.

What the what? Thankfully, the company was very quick to respond, with Google Photos' chief social architect Yonatan Zunger replying to the tweet, agreeing that "this is 100 percent not okay." His team fixed the issue with the artificial intelligence recognition program within hours.

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Zunger also mentioned that people of all races were mistakenly classified as dogs, so either there are some super buggy tech issues, or there's an employee at Google with a sick sense of humor.

Google also apologized with a formal statement, saying:

We're appalled and genuinely sorry that this happened. We are taking immediate action to prevent this type of result from appearing. There is still clearly a lot of work to do with automatic image labeling, and we're looking at how we can prevent these types of mistakes from happening in the future.

Apparently, the software was "having difficulty dealing with the faces because they were partially obscured," and also something about having issues processing different skin tones.

Let's hope that this really was an unfortunate accident, and that they get it fixed ASAP. This sort of thing is hurtful, even if it was just a computer glitch.

Do you buy Google's apology?


Image via © James Leynse/Corbis

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