Are HP computers racist or just giving us an opportunity to mend fences?
I find it interesting that we as a culture have progressed to the point where algorithms can be accused of racial profiling. It would seem to me that if ever there was a way to diffuse some of the lingering racial tensions left over from hundreds of years of oppression and igonorance, what better way than make a webcam the new focus of everyone’s ACLU reports and non-violent protests? By having something innocuous, inanimate (occasionally) and humorous take up the racist flack, perhaps the rest of us can refocus on building a culture of mutual trust and respect. Or we can just continue blaming the contrast settings, as evidenced by this awkward HP press release:
We are working with our partners to learn more. The technology we use is built on standard algorithms that measure the difference in intensity of contrast between the eyes and the upper cheek and nose. We believe that the camera might have difficulty “seeing” contrast in conditions where there is insufficient foreground lighting.
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