the racist camera explained

Remember our friend Joz and the racist camera? It insisted that Joz was blinking, when in reality she just has small eyes. And that guy with the racist webcam? His blackness appeared to infere with the computer's motion detection ability.

TIME has an article explaining the principles behind this seemingly racially insensitive technology: Face-Detection Cameras: Users' Racism Charges Explained. The algorithm for face detection should be relatively straightforward -- most folks have two eyes, eyebrows, a nose and lips -- but the execution isn't always so smooth.

If the problem really comes down to bad math, and is just a matter of adjusting some code, you have to wonder how these products even made it onto the market with such glaring flaws. Did the engineers behind these defices really forget to take darker skin color or smaller eye shape into consideration? Programming fail.

News flash: there are lots of non-Caucasians who use digital cameras and webcams. And when I say "lots," I mean a bajillion. Somebody better work that glitch out. And really, as Margaret Cho points out, who uses cameras more than Asian people?

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