Facebook has apologized after its artificial intelligence software appeared to label a group of Black men who appeared in a video shared on the platform as â€œprimates.â€
An automated prompt asked viewers of a video titled â€œwhite man calls cops on black men at marinaâ€ if they would like to â€œkeep seeing videos about Primates,â€ The New York Times reported on Friday.
The clip was originally sharedÂ on Facebook by Britainâ€™s Daily Mail newspaper in June 2020. Twitter users reported the networkâ€™s prompt appearing alongside the old video this week, per the Times.
Facebook spokesperson Dani Lever described the mislabeling as â€œan unacceptable error.â€
The platform â€œdisabled the entire topic recommendation feature as soon as we realized this was happening so we could investigate the cause and prevent this from happening again,â€ Lever said in a statement to USA Today on Friday.
â€œAs we have said, while we have made improvements to our AI we know itâ€™s not perfect and we have more progress to make,â€ Lever added. â€œWe apologize to anyone who may have seen these offensive recommendations.â€
Tech giantsâ€™ use of artificial intelligence tools has come under increased scrutiny in recent years amid concerns they can compound racist and sexist stereotypes.