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Black Men Are Primates

 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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Antisocialdarwinist
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06 September 2021 14:21
 

According to a Facebook topic-recognition AI. Which prompted an apology from Facebook, which said it “was clearly an unacceptable error.”

The thing is, black men are primates—as are all human beings. So why was this, as a Facebook representative said, “an algorithmic error on Facebook” which did not reflect the topic that the AI was recognizing?

Maybe it was because Facebook topic-recognition AI had previously “recognized” black men as “gorillas,” and gorillas are primates too? But this doesn’t change the fact that in this case, the AI was correct.

Or maybe—I’m speculating here, the article doesn’t elaborate—it was because the AI only recognized black men as primates, and not other races? Still, it begs the question: what percentage of the population is ignorant of the fact that human beings are, in fact, primates? (I suspect it’s probably overrepresented on Facebook.)

Facebook is probably just bending over backwards to avoid being called “racist” here. But in so doing, aren’t they promoting ignorance? Given their apology, one might conclude that human beings are not “primates,” and that calling black men primates is tantamount to calling them gorillas.

 
 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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06 September 2021 15:13
 

Yer a primate!

(Obligatory didn’t read the article or the complete OP response.)

 
 
Skipshot
 
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Skipshot
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06 September 2021 16:10
 

I thought word would have reached the rural parts by now.  For a long time, maybe 50 years, it hasn’t been socially acceptable to be openly racist or use traditional derogatory comments or references when referring to Black people, even when you don’t mean to.  Same goes for women and everyone who is not White, straight, and Christian.  Even bigot-mocking jokes are passe.  It’s been a long, difficult road, and the Trump presidency tried to re-legitimize pre-1950’s bigotry, but most Americans rejected his plan.  We aren’t free of bigoted dildos yet, and the bigots are putting up a helluva fight to regain but we’re getting there.

 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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Antisocialdarwinist
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06 September 2021 16:26
 
Skipshot - 06 September 2021 04:10 PM

I thought word would have reached the rural parts by now.  For a long time, maybe 50 years, it hasn’t been socially acceptable to be openly racist or use traditional derogatory comments or references when referring to Black people, even when you don’t mean to.  Same goes for women and everyone who is not White, straight, and Christian.  Even bigot-mocking jokes are passe.  It’s been a long, difficult road, and the Trump presidency tried to re-legitimize pre-1950’s bigotry, but most Americans rejected his plan.  We aren’t free of bigoted dildos yet, and the bigots are putting up a helluva fight to regain but we’re getting there.

At the risk of reading between the lines of all your smug patronizing, you appear to be implying that “primate” is racist. But you haven’t explained why this is so. All human beings are primates. Perhaps you belong to that segment of the population which is ignorant of this fact? Are you also a regular Facebook user?

 
 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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06 September 2021 17:55
 

From The Times

The video, dated June 27, 2020, was by The Daily Mail and featured clips of Black men in altercations with white civilians and police officers. It had no connection to monkeys or primates.

First, the obvious: the video did have a connection to primates because it showed primates. Is the Gray Lady ignorant of the fact that human beings are primates? It sounds like they’re using “monkeys” and “primates” interchangeably, when actually the former is a subset of the latter.

Second, the video apparently featured both black men as well as “white civilians and police officers,” all of whom are primates. Did the AI recognize all of them as “primates?” Or just the black men? There’s absolutely no way to know, but jumping to the conclusion that it was singling out the black men as primates seems “racist” to me.

 
 
weird buffalo
 
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weird buffalo
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07 September 2021 05:09
 

Are you unaware that calling black people monkeys has a long history as a racial slur?

Here’s an article you can read.  I agree, that all humans are primates.  The problem isn’t in referring to ALL humans as primates.  The problem is when someone specifically targets black people to call them primates (or apes, gorillas, monkeys, etc).

 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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Antisocialdarwinist
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07 September 2021 07:20
 
weird buffalo - 07 September 2021 05:09 AM

Are you unaware that calling black people monkeys has a long history as a racial slur?

Here’s an article you can read.  I agree, that all humans are primates.  The problem isn’t in referring to ALL humans as primates.  The problem is when someone specifically targets black people to call them primates (or apes, gorillas, monkeys, etc).

How is the fact that “monkey” is a racial slur relevant to the question of whether “primate” is? Connect the dots for me.

According to the Times article, the video in question featured both black men and “white civilians and police officers.” How do you know the topic-recognition AI was “specifically” targeting black men?

 
 
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07 September 2021 07:30
 

Ahhhh. . . the new racism claims that racism and Jim Crow of the past is overblown and no one is racist anymore, and anyone claiming racism is over-reacting.

 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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07 September 2021 07:47
 

I’m not sure what ASD is asking of us.  I “think” he wants us to be outraged at the AI Algorithm that treated ‘primate’ as conceptually synonymous with ‘gorilla’, but I’m not positive.  I’m also not positive that an issue that facebook is ‘investigating’ and presumably ‘correcting’ is worthy of said outrage.
Sure, it’s a mistake.  Sure, many people may be unaware that hominids (like humans) are primates.  But it sounds like the error is being addressed at the source (based on the article that ASD linked originally).

 
 
weird buffalo
 
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weird buffalo
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07 September 2021 09:21
 
Antisocialdarwinist - 07 September 2021 07:20 AM
weird buffalo - 07 September 2021 05:09 AM

Are you unaware that calling black people monkeys has a long history as a racial slur?

Here’s an article you can read.  I agree, that all humans are primates.  The problem isn’t in referring to ALL humans as primates.  The problem is when someone specifically targets black people to call them primates (or apes, gorillas, monkeys, etc).

How is the fact that “monkey” is a racial slur relevant to the question of whether “primate” is? Connect the dots for me.

According to the Times article, the video in question featured both black men and “white civilians and police officers.” How do you know the topic-recognition AI was “specifically” targeting black men?

I just did connect the dots for you.  You’re now feigning ignorance.

To start with, for your “ignorance” to be true, you’d have to be unaware that monkeys are also primates.  But since you’ve already demonstrated knowledge that humans are primates, that’s a claim that is clearly untrue.

 
weird buffalo
 
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weird buffalo
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07 September 2021 09:26
 
Jefe - 07 September 2021 07:47 AM

I’m not sure what ASD is asking of us.  I “think” he wants us to be outraged at the AI Algorithm that treated ‘primate’ as conceptually synonymous with ‘gorilla’, but I’m not positive.  I’m also not positive that an issue that facebook is ‘investigating’ and presumably ‘correcting’ is worthy of said outrage.
Sure, it’s a mistake.  Sure, many people may be unaware that hominids (like humans) are primates.  But it sounds like the error is being addressed at the source (based on the article that ASD linked originally).

Tech companies have a long track record of not dealing with race very well.
AI’s white guy problem.
An article on AI bias problems.
More algorithm problems involving race.
Keep AI from turning into a racist monster.
Is technology racist?

 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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07 September 2021 09:37
 
weird buffalo - 07 September 2021 09:26 AM
Jefe - 07 September 2021 07:47 AM

I’m not sure what ASD is asking of us.  I “think” he wants us to be outraged at the AI Algorithm that treated ‘primate’ as conceptually synonymous with ‘gorilla’, but I’m not positive.  I’m also not positive that an issue that facebook is ‘investigating’ and presumably ‘correcting’ is worthy of said outrage.
Sure, it’s a mistake.  Sure, many people may be unaware that hominids (like humans) are primates.  But it sounds like the error is being addressed at the source (based on the article that ASD linked originally).

Tech companies have a long track record of not dealing with race very well.
AI’s white guy problem.
An article on AI bias problems.
More algorithm problems involving race.
Keep AI from turning into a racist monster.
Is technology racist?

Yup.  And Facebook/Zuck have poor track records on ‘fixing’ things that they are told are broken.

 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
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07 September 2021 09:40
 

Such an OP clearly indicates a desire to ignore the impact that language has in promoting racism, regardless of the attempt to obfuscate the issue.

Of course all humans are in the family of primates.  But it is also the case that we humans consider ourselves in a category (Homo sapiens) ‘above’ our primate cousins, and when referring generally (in lay terms) to primates (watch any nature show), are talking about the monkeys and apes.  A statement that “Black Men Are Primates”, whether made by a human or a faulty/biased AI program, would clearly be an insinuation that Black men are less evolved.  Obvious racism.

 
 
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07 September 2021 14:35
 
Jefe - 07 September 2021 07:47 AM

I’m not sure what ASD is asking of us.  I “think” he wants us to be outraged at the AI Algorithm that treated ‘primate’ as conceptually synonymous with ‘gorilla’, but I’m not positive.  I’m also not positive that an issue that facebook is ‘investigating’ and presumably ‘correcting’ is worthy of said outrage.
Sure, it’s a mistake.  Sure, many people may be unaware that hominids (like humans) are primates.  But it sounds like the error is being addressed at the source (based on the article that ASD linked originally).

I think ASD is sick of PC and it has gone far enough.  I follow the lead of the whoever decides what is racist to them.  In the sage words of my former Black doorman, “We just want to be left alone.”  I can do that.

 
EN
 
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EN
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07 September 2021 20:23
 

All meaning is derived from context.  The same statement in one context can have a different meaning in another. That is how primates communicate.

 
burt
 
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burt
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08 September 2021 08:30
 
Jan_CAN - 07 September 2021 09:40 AM

Such an OP clearly indicates a desire to ignore the impact that language has in promoting racism, regardless of the attempt to obfuscate the issue.

Of course all humans are in the family of primates.  But it is also the case that we humans consider ourselves in a category (Homo sapiens) ‘above’ our primate cousins, and when referring generally (in lay terms) to primates (watch any nature show), are talking about the monkeys and apes.  A statement that “Black Men Are Primates”, whether made by a human or a faulty/biased AI program, would clearly be an insinuation that Black men are less evolved.  Obvious racism.

But a statement “black men are Homo sapiens” could be construed as both racist and anti-gay. Watch out.

 
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