Racist HP Computers Lampooned By Store Employees - HotHardware
Racist HP Computers Lampooned By Store Employees

Racist HP Computers Lampooned By Store Employees

Evidently HP computers are racist, if you follow the rationale of this snarkily produced video. It shows how HP's webcam software, which is supposed to track the movements of a person's face, doesn't work too well if you're African American.

Desi (African-American) and Wanda (Caucasian) appear to be workers in some sort of consumer electronics store.
We're using the face-tracking software. So, it's supposed to follow me as I move. I'm black. I think my blackness is interfering with the computer's ability to follow me. [...]

I'm going on record, and I'm sayin' it. Hewlett-Packard computers are racist. I said it. And the worst part is, I bought one for Christmas.
It's pretty clear that the software seems to think Desi is invisible. At least Desi and Wanda seem to have a good sense of humor about the issue.


Some might wonder if this is a stunt. Or at least, those who remember the "Racial Sensitivity" episode from "Better Off Ted's" first season might. "Better Off Ted" is a comedy that lampoons corporate life, and stars Jay Harrington as Ted Crisp, Portia de Rossi as the evilly corporated lackey (and Ted's boss) Veronica Palmer, and Andrea Anders as goofy (and crushing on Ted) Linda Zwordling.

In that episode, Veridian Dynamics, their company, "installs new motion-sensor devices for lights and other uses that are unable to recognize black people." Thus, employees are locked into rooms, elevators, etc.

In reality, this seems to not be a joke, but rather, just a bug, albeit a hilarious one. HP believes its software is having "difficulty 'seeing' contrast in conditions where there is insufficient foreground lighting. At any rate, watch the video:
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HP believes its software is having "difficulty 'seeing' contrast in conditions where there is insufficient foreground lighting.

Stores are always very well lit. They are in a store of some sort and there seems to be no issue with not having enough light.

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I suspect, in this case, there is more background lighting than foreground lighting, as seen in the video. The camera is looking directly at some of those lights and they are bright!

Regardless, I'm sure a bunch of software engineers at HP are wildly scrambling to find a fix for this as we speak.

I'm also highly amused by these two in the video. It's cool to see people taking this kind of stuff in stride!

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Oh. I see what you are saying.

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The auto-focus feature on both my digital camera and camcorder have a tough time dealing with the color black. I noticed  this when I tried to photograph or video my black cat. I wonder if this is some kind of sick-minded conspiracy...Confused

  

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It's not the webcam's fault, it's yours. You should have gotten the Sosa 2.0 upgrade for your complexion.

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