Tabong Kima logged onto Twitter one morning and saw a hashtag that said #ImageNetRoulette.
The site allows users to upload photos and artificial intelligence would analyse each face and describe what it saw.
One photo pegged a man as an “orphan” where another photo, where the person was wearing glasses, was labelled a “grind, nerd, wonk and dweeb”.
Kima, an African American, didn’t like what he saw when he uploaded his photo.
The site tagged him as a “wrongdoer” and an “offender”.
“I might have a bad sense of humour,” he tweeted, “but I don’t think this is particularly funny”.
ImageNet Roulette is a digital art project that’s intended to shine a light on the unsound and offensive behaviour that can creep into artificial intelligence technologies.Artificial intelligence technology is rapidly infiltrating its way into our everyday lives, including the facial-recognition services used by internet companies and police departments.
ImageNet Roulette, designed by American artist Trevor Paglen and Microsoft researcher Kate Crawford, aims to show the depth of this problem.
“We want to show how layers of bias and racism and misogyny move from one system to the next,” Paglen said in a phone interview from Paris.
“The point is to let people see the work that is being done behind the scenes, to see how we are being processed and categorised all the time.”