Google Photos Labels Black People As ‘Gorillas’

4 years ago
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The new Google Photos app has mislabelled a pair of black friends as gorillas.

Jacky Alcine, a computer programmer from New York, noticed that photographs of him and his friend had been automatically placed in an album titled “Gorillas”.

He took to Twitter to call out the software giant on its amazingly racist mistake, and a member of Google’s development team was quick to respond.

The new Google Photos app has mislabelled a pair of black friends as gorillas.

Jacky Alcine, a computer programmer from New York, noticed that photographs of him and his friend had been automatically placed in an album titled “Gorillas”.

He took to Twitter to call out the software giant on its amazingly racist mistake, and a member of Google’s development team was quick to respond.

Jacky Alcine tweet
Jacky Alcine tweeted Google with evidence of their mistake

Google’s chief social architect, Yonatan Zunger, got in touch to apologise profusely for the mistake and added that the company has removed the gorilla tag from the app.

He also said that the programming team was working to make sure it never happens again.

A Google statement reinforced Zunger’s apologies: “We’re appalled and genuinely sorry that this happened. We are taking immediate action to prevent this type of result from appearing,” it said.

“There is still clearly a lot of work to do with automatic image labelling, and we’re looking at how we can prevent these types of mistakes from happening in the future.”

Automatic image recognition is one of the heavily touted features of Google’s new Photos app. It is designed to identify and catalogue your photos without you having to do anything.

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