Facebook had to issue an apology after their AI tech allegedly misidentified black men as primates, and labeled them as such.
Fox News reported, The video, posted by The Daily Mail on June 27, 2020, shows clips of Black men and police officers. An automatic prompt asked users if they would like to “keep seeing videos about Primates,” despite the video clearly featuring no connection or content related to primates.
Facebook said in a statement that their AI is not perfect, and still needs improvements… but this is quite a large mistake especially considering the current political climate surrounding race.
“As we have said, while we have made improvements to our A.I., we know it’s not perfect, and we have more progress to make,” Facebook said in a statement.
This may lead one to wonder.. Where else might facebook’s AI be malfunctioning? Perhaps in the sphere of censoring “misinformation?”
After the mistake was reported, a Facebook product manager referred to the error as “unacceptable.” And an investigation was allegedly launched into the root cause of the prompt.
It’s unknown how many users may have experienced such a prompt, or one similar to it.
“This was clearly an unacceptable error and we disabled the entire topic recommendation feature as soon as we realized this was happening.” Facebook told USA Today.
This is not the first time that an error like this has occurred. Fox reported, that in 2015 Google labeled pictures of Black people as “gorillas.”
It’s unclear how a mistake like this could occur considering though, primates are the most similar to humans, the facial map and characteristics of a person and a gorilla are very different.