December 22, 2009

Something Wonderful: HP WebCams are Racist!

"As soon as my blackness enters the frame, webtracking is over. As soon as white Wanda appears the camera moves. Black Desi gets in there... no face recongition any more.... And the worst part is I bought one for Christmas."

Update: As you might expect, Hewlett-Packard is freaked out by this video. In a somewhat unconsidered post on their blog they propose that the glitch doesn't have to do with skin color but with... wait for it... the nose! Oy!

"We are working with our partners to learn more. The technology we use is built on standard algorithms that measure the difference in intensity of contrast between the eyes and the upper cheek and nose. We believe that the camera might have difficulty “seeing” contrast in conditions where there is insufficient foreground lighting." -- Customer Feedback is Important to Us - The Next Bench

Posted by Vanderleun at December 22, 2009 10:04 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

I suspect HP is right: the software is not good enough yet to distinguish between relatively small tonal differences in an object.

Posted by: ahem at December 22, 2009 11:01 AM

I smell a splendid shakedown opportunity for Rev. Al and the gang....

Posted by: Blastineau at December 22, 2009 11:49 AM

That guy is why I love America. He's fun, he's obviously fun to work with, and he's smartly tweaking HP which is devilishly satisfying.

Race-mongers have no such sense of humor or proportion.

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at December 22, 2009 2:22 PM

Gerard, this reminds me of the time I worked in a southern book store. Me and my co worker, a young black man, 20 years younger, and therefore ever so hot, were cleaning up the Bible department, when we noticed the Precious Moments Bible out of place. As I flipped through the illustrations, I noticed all the icky cute kids were blond and white. The picture of the icky cute kids in Heaven with their Lord and Saviour, also really icky and cute, left no doubt in my mind that there are no icky cute black illustrated kids in Heaven.
We both agreed that the Bible is racist.
I also pointed out that there are numerous stories in the Bible that are not very Precious Moments, if you get my drift.
I would really like to see an illustrated Precious Moments Koran. Let the festivities begin!

Posted by: Jewel at December 22, 2009 3:15 PM

I smell a splendid shakedown opportunity for Rev. Al and the gang....

Posted by: Paulswa at November 2, 2012 8:14 PM

I smell a splendid shakedown opportunity for Rev. Al and the gang....

Posted by: weifletas at May 22, 2013 11:00 AM