Google is Working on a New Way to Recognize Skin Tones
Free Book Preview: Ultimate Guide to Google Ads
Google, like many companies in the tech world, uses a scale called FST (Fitzpatrick Skin Type) to categorize skin types based on their tone. However, according to the Nasdaq, the tech giant is working on a new way to measure skin tones to eliminate racial biases in its products.
Thomas Fitzpatrick was a dermatologist in the 1970s who created his scale to personalize the treatment of psoriasis patients. According to Fitzpatrick, "White skin" is divided into four groups, while "brown skin" is grouped together in one group, just like "black skin."
Within technology, skin tones are used for different functions such as representation in emojis or facial recognition. Facial recognition has been one of the most scrutinized aspects of technology. Technology users have said not only does it not recognize people with darker skin, but it sometimes recognizes them as if they were of the opposite sex, and there were even two cases in which facial recognition tagged two people as color like gorillas.
Reuters questioned Google about the use of the FST.
"We are already working on more inclusive alternative methods that may be useful in product development," the company replied without giving much detail on how they plan to do it and when it will be ready.