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Robots don't like dark skin?

About 6,000 people had submitted their photos for the contest hoping that robots will follow an unbiased approach to selecting the winners. (Representative image) Photograph: (Getty)

San Francisco, CA, United States Sep 09, 2016, 03.47 AM (IST)
After humans, robots too seemed to have joined the bandwagon of bias and racism. 

In the first international beauty contest judged by an “all-robot jury”, Beauty.AI,only one of the 44 winners was dark-skinned, the Guardian reported today.  

The creators were startled by the results that pointed that apparently, robots did not like people with dark skin. 

About 6,000 people from across 100 countries had submitted their photos on YouTube hoping that artificial intelligence supported by complex algorithms to identify attractiveness, unlike humans, would not be governed by prejudices. 

Beauty.Ai, created by a group called “Youth Laboratories and supported by Microsoft, was based out of an algorithm that did include enough minorities to establish standards of attractiveness, Alex Zhavoronkov, Beauty.AI’s chief science officer, was quoted as saying in the report. 

Although the group did not build the algorithm to treat light skin as a sign of beauty, the input data effectively led the robot judges to reach that conclusion, the report says. 

Computer science experts and social justice advocates have expressed concerns on the growing use of prejudiced artificial intelligence systems that can have “devastating consequences” on the people of colour.

The incident has sparked a renewed debate on how algorithms are reflecting human biases, often yielding unintended and offensive results. 

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