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Pop Loser #98

by Tyler Hellard


Google’s Arts and Culture App and the Damaging Bias of Technology

Technology influences culture, but it also comes from culture, which is problematic for a few reasons. 

Amidst the chatter, however, visible minority users quickly discovered that the app did a poor job matching them. East Asian users were matched with caricatures or generic Asian faces, while others found no match at all, prompting criticism that the app was, if not exactly racist, then at least biased. Here again, the choices made in designing a technology had led to some people being able to revel in seeing themselves, but left others to look into a mirror and see no reflection. It highlights a growing issue in which the increasing importance of technology in our lives is also accompanied by a troubling set of blind spots and biases that manifest through how tech is designed.


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