Google Photo App’s Racist Howler: Black Couple Tagged As Gorillas


Google was forced to publicly apologize after the Google Photos application, based on its image recognition software that uses an auto-tagging tool to help organize uploaded images and make searching easier, labelled photographs of a black couple as “gorillas”.

“We’re appalled and genuinely sorry that this happened. We are taking immediate action to prevent this type of result from appearing. There is still clearly a lot of work to do with automatic image labeling, and we’re looking at how we can prevent these types of mistakes from happening in the future,” Google said in a statement.

The racist blunder was spotted by the victim Jacky Alcine, a computer programmer from Brooklyn, New York; he was stunned to see his and his friend’s photos labeled as “gorillas” in an album on Google Photos.  He launched a series of Tweets addressed to Google, which prompted Google to admit the gaffe.

His tweets triggered a response from Yonatan Zunger, chief architect of social at Google, the ‘error’ was ‘fixed’.

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