Racist Camera gets covered in DiversityInc!

2010-01-25 - DiversityInc - Racist Camera - CLIPPINGDiversityInc is a subscription site, so the links will probably stop working. Plus they say “Reproduction in any format is absolutely prohibited.” Well, I’m just going to excerpt, which is totally allowed.

Plus, they sent the following in their email newsletter, which was forwarded to me:
*Racist Camera? Does Nikon CoolPix Fail on Asian Eyes?*

What’s going on with the Nikon CoolPix S630 digital camera? There’s a charge that its facial-recognition software fails to recognize Asian people because of their eye shapes. Read more about how one Asian consumer’s blog post brought this to the public’s attention.

Wow. Sounds like I’m some sort of “consumer activist,” or something! Haha. Thanks, to Erin of VisualizAsian for the tip!

Racist Camera? Does Nikon CoolPix Fail on Asian Eyes?
By Lizz Carroll

Jan 25, 2010
Also read: camera, technology, Asian, multicultural missteps

Last year, when Joz Wang, a Taiwanese-American strategy consultant, decided to test out a new Nikon CoolPix S630 digital camera with her family members, she continually received an error message on the camera’s display screen: “Did someone blink?” After several tries with the same results, the Wangs tried taking a shot with their eyes open extra-wide. There was no error message after this attempt, they say.

Wang, who has a blog called jozjozjoz.com, posted one of the “blinking” pictures on her page with the title, “Racist Camera! No, I did not blink… I’m just Asian!” Bloggers and people on Twitter soon picked up on Wang’s controversial post.

But does the gadget really discriminate against Asian features or is this just a case of a technology glitch?

According to TIME, which publicized the story, Nikon says it’s working to improve the accuracy of the blink-warning function on its Coolpix cameras. Nikon has not yet returned DiversityInc’s calls and e-mails for comment.


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