Friday, February 5, 2010

Can cameras be capable of racism?

Guess which face got left out by the camera?

Can cameras be capable of racism? According to some discoveries by consumers, some cameras can indeed be "racist"!

It all began when cameras started shipping with face detection or smile detection technology, where the camera is programmed to identify faces and smiles for more accurate focusing and exposure, biased for the detected faces. However, in real world scenarios, variables such as lighting, contrast and even the size of the eyes affect the accuracy of such technology. Asians and blacks discovered that they had more difficulty in getting the cameras to detect their faces, leading to the "HP webcams are racist" viral Youtube video being circulated.

Of course, most people do not take these accusations seriously, and most are having a good laugh at the "racism" of such technologies. Still, it's interesting to see how the best intentions sometimes have unintended consequences!

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