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Twitter Apologizes for 'Racist' Image-Cropping Algorithm

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Twitter has apologized for an image cropping algorithm that users discovered was automatically focusing on white faces over black ones.

Credit: Mike Blake/Reuters

Twitter issued an apology for an image-cropping algorithm deemed racist after users found it would automatically focus on white faces over black ones.

When automatically cropping images in tweets, Twitter employs several algorithmic tools to help ensure faces and text remain within the cropped photo.

However, users have highlighted flaws in the feature, with targeted experiments using images of former President Barack Obama and U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, as well as stock photo models, Simpsons characters, and even golden and black Labradors, demonstrating that the algorithm favored white faces.

Said Twitter, "Our team did test for bias before shipping the model and did not find evidence of racial or gender bias in our testing, but it's clear from these examples that we've got more analysis to do."

From The Guardian (U.K.)
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