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Man claims HP webcams are racist

by Parm Mann on 24 December 2009, 11:12

Tags: Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HPQ)

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Such is the power of YouTube, that a video that soars to popularity can influence even the biggest names in the technology industry.

Take for example Hewlett-Packard, who is now "looking into" claims that its facial-tracking software can't see black people.

HP, one of the world's largest technology companies, was alerted to the problem by a YouTube video posted by a man going by the name of "Black Desi". Claiming to have purchased a HP MediaSmart PC for Christmas, "Black Desi" and a friend dubbed "White Wanda" demonstrate the computer's inability to track the black man's face.

The clip, described as "hilarious" by the author, has now been viewed over a million times in just a matter of weeks.

HP has responded to the clip with lead social media strategist Tony Welch stating that "everything we do is focused on ensuring that we provide a high-quality experience for all our customers, who are ethnically diverse and live and work around the world. That’s why when issues surface, we take them seriously and work hard to understand the root causes."

"We are working with our partners to learn more. The technology we use is built on standard algorithms that measure the difference in intensity of contrast between the eyes and the upper cheek and nose. We believe that the camera might have difficulty “seeing” contrast in conditions where there is insufficient foreground lighting," adds Welch in a blog post.

HEXUS Forums :: 9 Comments

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Appears to be an issue regarding contrast, love how it's getting hyped up everywhere :D
Appears to be faked more like it! Given that the name tags are reversed as if in a mirror, plus someone's hands are always out of line of sight whenever the camera is moving…
Yeah, fake IMO.
1st what a load of rubbish, can they counter sue?+

2nd we heard this before, i think it was sat nav with voice command couldnt understand people from birmingham i think (apologise if I am wrong, sorry it is late)
i dont care if its real or fake but it was damn funny specially when he ask white wanda to step in ehehehehhe so good LMAO