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Google Photos Tags Person as Gorilla

Google Made a Huge Mistake That Will Make You So Uncomfortable

Google is currently under fire for a terrible tagging mistake on Google Photos. The cringe-inducing issue came to light when a user pointed out that it automatically tagged two black people as gorillas.

The feature, in theory, recognises certain objects or places and will create tags and collections based on that information. But in this case, it clearly went awry, and software developer Jacky Alciné called out Google on Twitter after noticing the tagging.

It didn't go unnoticed by Google for long, as Yonatan Zunger, the chief architect of social at Google, noticed the mistake on Twitter on Monday and immediately started to try to remedy the issue.

Within a few hours, the tag was removed and Zunger continued to tweet about how the Google Photos team is working to fix larger issues within the app.

The outcry was also followed with a public apology from Google. "We're appalled and genuinely sorry that this happened," said a Google spokeswoman to BBC. "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 labelling, and we're looking at how we can prevent these types of mistakes from happening in the future."

Considering the huge diversity problem most tech companies, including Google, are facing, this problem does nothing to wash away those concerns. What it does highlight is the important need to have more diversity so that issues like these are either removed before launch or — even better — never happen.

Image Source: Google Photos
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