Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM News

Google's Photo App Still Can't Find Gorillas. And Neither Can Apple's

View as: Print Mobile App Share:
A gorilla.

Eight years after a software developer discovered Google had labeled photos of him and a friend, who are both Black, as “gorillas,” The New York Times tested image recognition software to see if it was any more accurate.

Credit: Desiree Rios/The New York Times

When Google released its stand-alone Photos app in May 2015, people were wowed by what it could do: analyze images to label the people, places and things in them, an astounding consumer offering at the time. But a couple of months after the release, a software developer, Jacky Alciné, discovered that Google had labeled photos of him and a friend, who are both Black, as "gorillas," a term that is particularly offensive because it echoes centuries of racist tropes.

In the ensuing controversy, Google prevented its software from categorizing anything in Photos as gorillas, and it vowed to fix the problem. Eight years later, with significant advances in artificial intelligence, we tested whether Google had resolved the issue, and we looked at comparable tools from its competitors: Apple, Amazon and Microsoft.

From The New York Times
View Full Article



No entries found

Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account