Russian developers were suspected of racism because of the "whitening" filter in FaceApp

27 April 2017
Surely many people have already tried the rapidly gaining popularity of the domestic mobile application FaceApp. The ability to apply realistic filters that change a person's facial expression, age and even gender in a photo has attracted many users not only in our country but also abroad. However, in this case, the increase in audience brought not only benefits, but also certain problems for the developers.The fact is that some users with dark skin color began to note the "whitening" of their faces when using the "Hot" filter, which should make the person in the picture more attractive. The corresponding screenshots quickly flooded the Internet and caused a wave of indignation and accusations of racism against the developers of the application. Yaroslav Goncharov, the founder and CEO of the Russian company Wireless Lab, apologized for the misunderstanding. According to him, the detected problem is just an unfortunate side effect of the neural network, which was caused by inconsistent data in the sample for its training. Despite the fact that the development team is already working on eliminating the unwanted effect, the "Hot" filter was renamed "Spark" just in case, which should make the possible "whitening" of the images not so offensive.