Google adopts more inclusive skin tone model

By PLCpoint


Google announced Wednesday that it is making use of a more inclusive data model as part of its effort to make its services work equally well across a wide range of human skin tones.

The early years

Why it matters

Google is the front door to the internet, and every step it takes towards more equitable products affects billions of people.

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Google says it has begun using the Monk Skin Tone Scale, developed by Harvard professor Ellis Monk, as a guide to evaluate its products. Monk's scale is comprised of 10 tones, compared to the more widely used Fitzpatrick model, which only uses six.

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Tech's bias problems go far beyond skin tone. Doshi acknowledges that there is a lack of diversity of images on the internet. "The Web itself has had a history of bias in terms of who we take photos of, who we publish,"

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Google's work with the Monk Scale is being done within its responsible AI team, the same unit that has been the center of controversy after the company ousted both of the team leaders, Timnit Gebru and Margaret Mitchell.