Facebook apologizes for putting racist ‘primates’ label on video of Black men

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Facebook has apologized for putting a “primates” label on a video of Black men, according to a report in the New York Times.

The newspaper said the video was posted by a tabloid in June and showed Black men in altercations with white civilians and police officers.


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After the video ended, an automatic message popped up that said “keep seeing videos about Primates,” according to the Times.

Facebook turned off the artificial intelligence feature that showed the message, the Times said, and apologized for what it called “an unacceptable error” and told the newspaper that it would investigate further so that it doesn’t happen again.

Facebook on Saturday did not respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press. But a company spokeswoman told the Times that even though Facebook has made improvements to its artificial intelligence, “it’s not perfect” and has “more progress to make.”

Artificial intelligence has mislabeled people of color before. In 2015, Google apologized after it labeled a photo of two Black people as gorillas.

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