Are new technologies racist? The debate is regularly updated by users. Latest scandal in the United States, the keywords “three black teenagers” ( “three black teenagers”) as displayed in Google Images results of incarcerated youth clichés. Kabir Alli, a high school student in Virginia, posted a video on Twitter Monday, showing its live search. By replacing the keyword “black” with “white”, he found himself this time with three young smiling and radiant. Following the media coverage of this case, the search results are now the same.
Unlike other Internet users, Kabir Alli refrained from Google accused of racism: “the results are given by the algorithm they created, was he wrote in another message. [They] are not racist, but I think they should better control this stuff. “
This incident is not an isolated case. In April, an American surfer already compared the search results for “hairstyle suited to the world of work” and “inappropriate hairstyle in the world of work”. These keywords showed African American hair pictures, other pictures of blonde women. The message symbol for a certain job discrimination against African Americans, had become viral on Twitter.
“Our search engine for images is a reflection of the content available on the Net, this includes the frequency with which the photographs appear and are discussed, has justified a spokesman for Google, as reported by the British news website the Telegraph . This means that sometimes ways to illustrate certain sensitive topics online can influence the images that appear when certain queries. These results do not reflect the opinions and ideas of Google. “In fact, other search engines have the same concerns, such as Yahoo! or Bing.
Search engines, factories clichés
This response is the first way to consider the problem, saying that the technology itself is neutral, it is only a reflection of the prejudices of certain individuals to the racist and intolerant behavior. An artificial intelligence experiment conducted by Microsoft in March had shown that leaving a chat robot learn from these exchanges with users, the result could lead to messages as racist and provocative machine “Bush is responsible for 11 September “and” Hitler would have done a better job than the monkey we have now. “
some think that certain biases are introduced to how to design computer tools themselves. “Technology is thinking and tested by young whites for white kids,” said Jacques Henno, journalist specialized in new technologies cited by Slate media. In June, Google was forced to apologize after a new application photography had identified two automatic way black people as “gorillas”. Evidence that facial recognition systems were tested on sample populations too little diversity.
A search engine is not probably not responsible for the opinions of its users, but safeguards are needed and the moderation of work is not always as effective as desired. in 2012, a dispute arose between Google and several French anti-racist associations. these had revealed that search suggestions automatically completed the name of a personality as “Jewish.” Today, stereotypes and prejudices continue to appear in the semi-automatic seizure. To the question “why blacks” Google suggests “love bananas” or “feel” in the midst of other racist cliches. A device can report “shocking predictions”, but the mechanisms to ban pornographic or violent remain more effective than those for moderate intolerant. Ironically, the same question “why whites” Google Suggest offers “are racist”.