Sep 21, 2020

Twitter investigates racial bias in image previews

US Gov. Twitter is investigating after users discovered its picture-cropping algorithm sometimes prefers white faces to black ones. Users noticed when two photos - one of a black face the other of a white one - were in the same post, Twitter often showed only the white face on mobile. "Twitter's chief technology officer, Parag Agrawal, tweeted:"We did analysis on our model when we shipped it - but [it] needs continuous improvement. Twitter's chief design officer, Dantley Davis, found editing out Mr Madland's facial hair and glasses seemed to correct the problem - "Because of the contrast with his skin". Zehan Wang, a research engineering lead and co-founder of the neural networks company Magic Pony, which has been acquired by Twitter, said tests on the algorithm in 2017, using pairs of faces belonging to different ethnicities, had found "No significant bias between ethnicities" - but Twitter would now review that study.

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