July 27, 2018
Pattern recognition is evil in general, so…
If state of the art facial recognition technology can identify a White face among millions of others, yet can’t distinguish between a nigger and a gorilla, does that say more about facial recognition or about niggers?
Facial recognition is becoming part of the fabric of everyday life. You might already use it to log in to your phone or computer, or authenticate payments with your bank. In China, where the technology is more common, your face can be used to buy fast food, or claim your allowance of toilet paper at a public restroom. And this is to say nothing of how law enforcement agencies around the world are experimenting with facial recognition as tool of mass surveillance.
Oi! Got a permit for that mug, m8?
But the widespread uptake of this technology belies underlying structural problems, not least the issue of bias. By this, researchers mean that software used for facial identification, recognition, or analysis performs differently based on the age, gender, and ethnicity of the person it’s identifying.
In other words, computers can easily tell White people apart and sort them by gender and age, but can’t tell the difference between a young Black woman, an old Black man and an oil spill.
Even more problematic, it can’t tell the difference between a Black man and a nigger. Well, neither can I.
But seriously, the reason why facial recognition doesn’t work on Blacks is because they look like this:
Man? Woman? Old? Young?
Instead of blaming the software, maybe Blacks should work on not looking like monkeys instead?
A study published in February by researchers from MIT Media Lab found that facial recognition algorithms designed by IBM, Microsoft, and Face++ had error rates of up to 35 percent higher when detecting the gender of darker-skinned women compared to lighter-skinned men. In this way, bias in facial recognition threatens to reinforce the prejudices of society; disproportionately affecting women and minorities, potentially locking them out of the world’s digital infrastructure, or inflicting life-changing judgements on them.
“Locking them out of infrastructure?”
That’s a good idea. Welfare and EBT should be distributed through a facial recognition system. That way, the money would go to those who really deserve it: gorillas.
In an informal survey, The Verge contacted a dozen different companies that sell facial identification, recognition, and analysis algorithms. All the firms that replied said they were aware of the issue of bias, and most said they were doing their best to reduce it in their own systems. But none would share detailed data on their work, or reveal their own internal metrics. If you regularly use a facial recognition algorithm, wouldn’t you like to know whether it consistently performs worse for your gender or skin tone?
The funny thing about this article and similar ones on this topic is that they never try to explain why it might be harder differentiate the faces of Blacks, as compared to Whites.
They just go “oh, it’s biased,” while implying that the programmers are racist or some shit.
The obvious reality here is that non-White faces are completely different from White ones, and don’t have the same markers to differentiate genders and age. Moreover, dark faces literally reflect less light at the camera lens, which means that there’s less information to process, making the whole thing more difficult.
But no. White people can’t enjoy technology unless it works exactly as well on evolutionary throwbacks.