Monday, December 21, 2009

HP’s Webcam Software is Racist

HP’s webcam software is not really racist, but it does appear to have technical difficulties recognizing the face of African Americans.

Video embedded below.

HP seems to acknowledge the problem but puts it much more delicately then is in the video, 'contrast issues'.

"Some of you may have seen or heard of a YouTube video in which the facial-tracking software didn’t work for a customer. We thank Desi, and the people who have seen and commented on his video, for bringing this subject to our attention.

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. While we work on this, take a look here for more information on the impact of lighting on facial tracking software, and how to optimize your webcam experience:

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