Are HP media smart computers with the face tracking software racist?
That’s an interesting question considering I am typing this on one. You look at this video and tell me.
According to news reports…
“Black Desi” and his friend “White Wanda” made a video titled “HP computers are racist,” which has been a viral hit in recent weeks. (See above.) In an attempt to prove their claim, Desi demonstrated that an HP MediaSmart computer’s facial-tracking software could not follow the movements of his face, but it could do so just fine for his white friend Wanda.
“As soon as White Wanda appears, the camera moves,” Desi says in the video. “Black Desi gets in there — nope! No face recognition anymore, buddy.”
“I’m going on the record and I’m saying it,” he continues. “Hewlett-Packard computers are racist.”
The video, which has attracted about 400,000 views as of this writing, is categorized as a humor clip. But HP has said it’s taking the potential issue seriously.
“HP has been informed of a potential issue with the facial-tracking software included on some of its systems, which appears to occur when insufficient foreground lighting is available,” an HP spokesman said in an e-mail. “We take this seriously and are looking into it with our partners.”
Even more interesting is the fact the face tracking feature of the HP web cam does not recognize or track Black faces as this is exactly opposite the problem sited by many Blacks when entering certain stores. We get followed and harassed a little too well.