UnNews:New Nikon Face Recognition Software Facilitates Photography of Colored Folks

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22 January 2010

"Is she smiling?"

Aim the camera at your dark-skinned friends, click the button, and the message appears: "It appears there are Mexicans in the frame. Is this intentional?" Helpful hints like this from face recognition software installed in new digital cameras from Nikon are easing the difficulties of photographing our non-white companions.

"It was tremendous," exclaimed consumer Joz Wong, a local oriental. "I forgot to remind my daughter to open her eyes when she smiles, so the camera did it for me. There was the message: 'Unable to track your Asian subject's eyes. Is she smiling?'"

Willis "Mookie" Jackson, a black guy who works at a local RV dealership, noted his experience with the software. "It was amazing," Jackson said. "I was taking a picture with a white co-worker, and before it would take the picture, it said 'Is there only one subject in the frame, or is the other guy a Negro that I can't track?'" Jackson explained that the camera helped them realize they can't be photographed together, so they took separate pictures. "I'm just glad the camera saved me from that embarrassment."

In testing, the system proved flawless. When taking a picture of a Jew, it said, "Careful, the Jew in the picture might be a lawyer". If you aim it at a Native American, it says, "Heap big wompum smokem peace pipe." It isn't clear what this message means or how it helps, but it does demonstrate the incredible capabilities of the software.

Of course, there are no messages when photographing most whites, but if it detects any Italian, Irish or Gypsy ethnicity, and it almost always does when present, it simply says, "OK, sure, you were an oppressed minority a long time ago, but by now, you're just white. Get over it."

Nikon is still working on ways to detect if a subject is gay, because, in the words of Nikon executive Norman Sakamoto, "That will open up a whole new world of possible warning messages."