Search engine giant Google has apologised after its new Photos app wrongly labelled a black couple as being “gorillas”.
The company said it was “appalled” over this racist blunder and efforts were on to fix this problem.
The error was brought to Google’s notice by a New York-based software developer, also one of the people pictured in the photos involved.
Google was later criticised on social media because of the label’s racist connotations.
After being contacted by Jacky Alcine via twitter, Google executive Yonatan Zunger acknowledged that “This is 100% not OK.”
“[It was] high on my list of bugs you ‘never’ want to see happen.”
Zunger said Google had already taken steps to avoid others experiencing a similar mistake. Google’s new photo app automatically tags uploaded pictures using its own artificial intelligence software.
But this is not the first time the new app has been reported for its poor recognition of uploaded photos. In May, a website reported how the app was identifying dogs as horses.
Google has, however, acknowledged the sensitivity of the latest mistake. A spokeswoman was quoted by the BBC as saying, “We’re appalled and genuinely sorry that this happened. We are taking immediate action to prevent this type of result from appearing. There is still clearly a lot of work to do with automatic image labelling, and we’re looking at how we can prevent these types of mistakes from happening in the future.”