The New York Times asked multiple users of an algorithm on Facebook if they would like to see more videos about monkeys under a video published by a British tabloid showing black people.
The video clip, which was released a year ago in the “Daily Mail” newspaper, is titled “A white man seeks help from police against black men in the marina,” showing only people, not monkeys.
But the question is “Do you watch more animal videos?” According to a screenshot posted on Twitter by the former designer of the social networking company Darcy Groves, it appeared on the screens of some users under the video clip, giving them the choice between accepting and rejecting.
“It’s outrageous,” Groves wrote in his comment, calling on his former colleagues on Facebook to raise the issue.
“This is clearly an unacceptable error,” a Facebook spokesman said in a statement.
He explained that Facebook had quickly disabled the recommendation tool in this regard, “once you find out what happened, investigate the causes of the problem and prevent it from coming back.”
“As we have said, although we have made improvements in our AI systems, we know it is not perfect and we need to make further progress in this area,” he added.
This case highlights the limitations of artificial intelligence techniques that the network continues to pursue in an effort to tailor its service to the wishes of its three billion monthly users.
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