Tags: twitter | algorithm | image | cropping | race | faces

Twitter Apologizes for Image Cropping Algorithm That Favored White Faces

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By    |   Monday, 21 September 2020 02:33 PM

Twitter has apologized after its automatic image cropping algorithm was found to focus on white people’s faces over Black faces when determining the most important part of a picture, The Guardian reports.

Users over the weekend began posting pictures of a Black person’s face and a picture of a white person’s face to see which would be selected for focus by Twitter’s preview feature. Eventually, they drew the attention of some of Twitter’s top officials.

Twitter’s chief design officer, Dantley Davis, tweeted that he had conducted some unscientific tests of his own with photos and said the company would investigate the neural network it uses to automatically crop the previews it uses for images.

“Here's another example of what I've experimented with,” he wrote in a tweet that included almost identical pictures of a Black man and a white man. “It's not a scientific test as it's an isolated example, but it points to some variables that we need to look into. Both men now have the same suits and I covered their hands. We're still investigating the NN.”

The company’s chief technology officer, Parag Agrawal, added, “This is a very important question. To address it, we did analysis on our model when we shipped it, but needs continuous improvement. Love this public, open, and rigorous test — and eager to learn from this.”

“Our team did test for bias before shipping the model and did not find evidence of racial or gender bias in our testing,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement. “But it’s clear from these examples that we’ve got more analysis to do. We’ll continue to share what we learn, what actions we take, and will open source our analysis so others can review and replicate.”

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Twitter has apologized after its automatic image cropping algorithm was found to focus on white people's faces over Black faces when determining the most important part of a picture, The Guardian reports. Users over the weekend began posting pictures of a Black person's face...
twitter, algorithm, image, cropping, race, faces
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2020-33-21
Monday, 21 September 2020 02:33 PM
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