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Is This Hp Webcam Racist?

by Lambert Varias

Meet Desi. He’s in front of an HP MediaSmart computer, which has a fancy face tracking software that allows its webcam to follow your face within the confines of the frame. Desi may look like a happy guy, but he’s definitely not. Why?

In his words: “As soon as White Wanda appears, the camera moves. Black Desi gets in there…oh nope! No facial recognition there.”

YouTube Preview Image

Desi and Wanda were right to post this on YouTube – maybe it’ll get HP to respond and fix the problem. But I think the two should have tested the software on other people too. Who knows, maybe Desi has something on him – aside from his skin color of course – that borks the software. What do you humans – regardless of gender, race, religion, or preference of computer – think?

[via CrunchGear]

Comments (15):

  1. Ahren says:

    Reminds me of a very hilarious episode of ‘Better Off Ted’.

    • Azrael says:

      Don’t worry, HP will just have to hire a white guy to go with every purchase of this hardware by someone of colour. Eventually everyone will be working for HP. Lets just hope they have the parking space. LOL

  2. matt says:

    What Ahren said. Apparently life imitates art.

  3. Uncle Tom says:

    Perhaps the facial recognition software has a preference for white women.

  4. Jason says:

    Actually it’s true. I used to work for Logitech who also has a similar face recognition feature. It does not work on most black people, and we tell them that when they call tech support.

  5. Paul says:

    The face recognition software uses the RGB values of the image to recognise a face from the background. HP clearly failed to include a setting to alter the range of recognised values to black skin tones.

  6. Jparenti says:

    Boo. Hiss.

  7. jim says:

    what about mongaloids? asians, latinos, north africans, middle easterners, central asian people? i bet the camera picks them up!

  8. chuck says:

    I’m sure it’s just a pigment thing. I’ll bet the camera would work fine on Halle Berry or Shemar Moore. Mindy Kaling would be out of luck, though.

  9. Jaccooozle says:

    Maybe Desi shoulda smiled…

  10. alfred liwanag, Jr. says:

    HP did end up looking into the matter. HP e-mailed a statement that acknowledged that the webcam “may have issues with contrast recognition in certain lighting situations”. There were tests conducted by various sites that indicated that given the appropriate lighting conditions, the webcam worked just fine.

    Racist HP Webcam: Tracks White People Only?

  11. camaras ip says:

    dark people is hard to notice the facial expression, so i think is only a tech software issue rather than racism o something

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