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Google is looking for an alternative to the industry-accepted skin color scale



Google this week told Reuters that it is developing an alternative to the industry standard skin tone grading method, which is increasingly being described as inadequate for evaluating electronic devices.

This is the Fitzpatrick Skin Phototype Scale, which has been used by dermatologists since the mid-1970s. Tech companies rely on this scale to classify people and determine whether solutions like facial recognition or smartwatch heart rate sensors work equally well with different skin tones.

Critics of the Fitzpatrick scale say that it includes four categories for “white” skin and one for “black” and “brown”, ignoring the diversity of people of color. During a conference on federal technology standards last October, experts from the US Department of Homeland Security recommended that this jackal be abandoned for assessing facial recognition, as it does not represent the color gamut in different population groups.

Google claims to be ahead of the competition by developing a more modern scale.

“We are working on an alternative, more comprehensive classification that can be useful in the development of our products, and we will collaborate with scientific and medical experts, as well as groups working in communities of color,” – the source quoted the Internet giant.

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