Facebook releases apology after A.I. categorizes Black men as ‘primates’

Facebook has recently apologized after a video shows Black men being classified as a video featuring “primates” by the social network’s artificial intelligence software. This is just the latest of several examples of anti-Black bias in A.I. and facial recognition. According to New York Times reported that several Facebook users, after a Daily Mail video posted on the platform documenting Black men being harassed by a white man, were sent an automated message asking if they would like to “keep seeing videos about Primates.”

Once the social network being made aware of the issue, the company disabled the A.I. feature responsible for the message and is investigating the erros.

“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 spokesperson Dani Lever said in a statement. “We apologize to anyone who may have seen these offensive recommendations.”

Former Facebook content design manager Darci Groves said she was sent a screenshot of the automated message by a friend and uploaded it to a product feedback forum comprised of former and current Facebook employees. A product manager for Facebook’s video service responded after calling the message “unacceptable” and promising the company was making efforts to identify the “root cause.”

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