Image recognition software fails at automated tagging


In 2015, a newly launched image recognition function built into Yahoo's Flickr image hosting site automatically tagged images of black people with tags such as "ape" and "animal", and also tagged images of concentration camps with "sport" or "jungle gym". The company responded to user complaints by removing some of the tags from the software's lexicon and noted that the algorithm would learn and improve when users deleted inappropriate tags. The auto-tagging system had already attracted many user complaints that the tags were too broad or inaccurate and that the system itself had been inadequately tested and released without consulting or warning users. The company said the tags were intended to help photos surface in searches by using search terms that visitors typically use.

Writer: Alex Hern
Publication: Guardian
Publication date: 2015-05-20

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