HP webcams copy Better Off Ted

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I suppose I shouldn't be so gleeful, but the story popped up today that HP face-tracking webcams can't recognize black faces.

Of course, anyone who watches sitcoms on TV knows what happened - Better Off Ted had this plotline last spring in S1e04, in which the dysfunctional futuristic corporation Veridian Dynamics invented and installed a building access and control system that was activated by reflections off human skin. Needless to say, the company had only tested it on white people, and it turned out that black skin wasn't sufficiently reflective (or not reflective in the right way or wavelengths) and so the building completely ignored them. It was one of the funniest things I've ever seen on TV, especially the sign over the "manual" water fountain they had to install pro tem while they figured out how to fix the system.

I'm not sure, in this case, that I'd be entirely unhappy: who wants to be more easily facially recognized and tracked?


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This page contains a single entry by Wendy M. Grossman published on December 21, 2009 7:59 PM.

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