The Mysterious Case of the Vanished Gorillas: Google and Apple’s Uncanny Inability to Find Them.

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Eight years after a software developer found Google’s algorithm had labelled photos of him and a friend as “gorillas”, the company has disabled the ability for its visual search engine to recognise primates for fear of making an offensive mistake. Both Google and Apple were able to recognise lemurs in testing, but neither company appeared to allow searches for monkeys or apes. The initial problem was caused by the lack of photographs of black people in databases used to train A.I systems. Google promised to fix the problem, as did other technology firms after similar controversies, such as HP, which failed to detect some people with dark skin when using facial-tracking webcams, and Apple, which failed to read accurate blood oxygen level readings on people with different skin tones. As artificial intelligence becomes more embedded in everyday life, tech firms have been accused of “walling off” faulty features rather than resolving issues.

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