After noting racial bias in image-cropping AI, Twitter drops automated image cropping tool. Users of the famous microblogging site had earlier raised issues pertaining to potential problems with the algorithm, which cropped large photos. According to the research conducted by the social network, this blame was certainly found to be true and the company said that the image cropping tool favoured white individuals over black people, and women over men.
To get away with the bias, Twitter has already started taking steps to phase out the older system. The company is currently working on updating its mobile app which presented more accurate image previews. Twitter also explained that though it always tests for these kinds of problems with its machine learning system before releasing it, it did accept that more research needs to be put in before a feature is rolled out for the masses.
Unequal treatment based on demographic differences
Ina blog post published earlier this week, the social networking platform said that it had analysed the artificial intelligence algorithm that crops images before they appear in a user’s timeline after users complained last year the system emphasized white people over Black ones and favoured men over women.
The social media firm also checked to see if the AI showed signs of objectification bias, or focused more keenly on parts of women’s bodies.
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The company started applying saliency algorithm” in 2018 in order to ensure that the size of photos remained consistent across the platform. The software used to do so was designed specifically to evaluate which part of a particular photo would be thought as most “salient” or important to be seen first. The software was further trained with human eye-tracking data.
It is only after scanning an image, the algorithm forecasted and then scored which areas of a picture was more likely to get attention from users. According to Twitter, it is only after this stage when the part of the image with the highest score became the centre of the tech-generated crop.
After the compliant, the company believes ‘how to crop an image is a decision best made by people’. Twitter drops automated image-cropping tool to be fairer to its users across the globe, and without any discrimination.
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