Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I See White People

A YouTube video uploaded in 2009 showed a webcam, identified as being an HP model, failing to follow a face when the person on-screen was black. When a white woman stepped in front of the same camera, the facial-tracking system appeared to begin working properly.
"I think my blackness is interfering with the computer's ability to follow me," Desi Cryer said. "I'm going on record and I'm saying it: Hewlett-Packard computers are racist."
HP acknowledged in a statement e-mailed to CNN that the cameras may have issues with contrast recognition in certain lighting situations. The webcams, built into HP's new computers, are supposed to keep people's faces and bodies in proportion and centered on the screen as they move.

1 comment:

  1. I remember seeing this video when it was first posted and the numerous conversations that ensued after it. Ironically, I now own an HP with the built-in camera and don't really have a problem (although I'm not sure its the same camera device mentioned in this video). The assumption by some was to focus on the race of people rather than the technical aspect of the electronics. In either case, there was no lack of insightful conversations.