Google from Alphabet Inc on Wednesday unveiled a palette of 10 skin tones, which it called a step forward in creating gadgets and apps that better serve colored people. The company said its new monk skin tone scale replaces the flawed six-color standard known as Fitzpatrick’s skin type, which has become popular in the tech industry to assess whether smartwatch heart rate sensors, artificial intelligence systems including face recognition and others suggestions. bias colors.

Technology researchers have acknowledged that Fitzpatrick is underrepresented by people with dark skin. Reuters exclusively reported last year that Google was developing an alternative. The company collaborated with Harvard University sociologist Alice Monk, who studies color and felt inhuman because of cameras that could not detect his face and reflect skin tone.

Monk said Fitzpatyk is great for classifying the differences between lighter skin. But most people are darker, so he wanted the scale to “work better for most of the world,” he said.

The monk used Photoshop and other digital art tools to pick up 10 tones – a controlled amount for people to help teach and evaluate AI systems. He and Google surveyed about 3,000 people across the United States and found that a significant number said the 10-point scale matched their skin as well as a palette with 40 shades.

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Talsi Doshi, product manager of Google’s responsible team for artificial intelligence, called the Manca scale “a good balance between representation and flexibility.”

Google already applies it. Beauty-related Google Images search, such as “wedding makeup”, now allows you to filter results based on Monk. Searching for images such as “cute babies” now shows photos with different skin tones.

The Manca scale is also unfolding to make sure a number of people are happy with the filter options in Google Photos and that the company’s face-searching software is not biased.

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However, Dosha said problems could seep into products if companies don’t have enough data on each of the shades, or if people or tools used to classify others ’skin are biased because of differences in lighting or personal perceptions .

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