HP Racist?

HP responded on its blog.

“We are working with our partners to learn more,” HP said. “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.”

“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,” HP continued. “That’s why when issues surface, we take them seriously and work hard to understand the root causes.”

I believe that HP is being up front, but I can’t help but ask why HP didn’t  test the camera on a variety of folks from a variety of ethnic backgrounds and in multiple lighting situations – maybe they did, but if so it seems it wasn’t sufficient.

HP isn’t a racist organization, but I do think this is an example of privilege based on skin gradient.  HP probably didn’t consider that the camera wouldn’t work the same with darker skinned individuals. It is kind of like band-aids not being mass produced in darker tones.

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