Published in News
HP facial tracking is racist
by Nick Farrell on22 December 2009
Refuses to watch black people
HP is looking into the facial-tracking software used in its personal computers, after a punter claimed that it was unable to follow his movements.
The customer who calls himself “Black Desi” said the program was racist because it was unable to follow his movements. In a YouTube video Desi said that he thought his skin colour is interfering with the computer’s ability to follow him.
In the clip, the software fails to follow the movement of his face while easily tracking the face of his co-worker, referred to as “White Wanda.” The video, posted on December 10 under the title “HP Computers Are Racist,” has been watched more than 86,000 times. The video appears to have caught HP on the hop.
Writing in its blog HP said that it was examining the program, which is used for video chats. Apparently the software was designed to find faces by measuring the contrast between the eyes and upper cheek and nose.
The camera may have difficulty seeing the contrast in low-light conditions, HP thinks.