Amazon’s gender recognition software identifies Michelle Obama and Serena Williams as men

By Sandra Rose |

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Amazon’s gender recognition system identified black celebrities Michelle Obama and Serena Williams as male.

According to MIT researcher Joy Buolamwini, Amazon’s response was that the software is not “face recognition, it’s gender recognition” – as if it makes it acceptable to identify women as male.

Both Michelle and Serena are genetically and biologically women, but they have been plagued by bad rumors that they are men.

Uri Schanker / Getty Images

It does not help that Amazon’s gender recognition software also identifies them as the male gender.

While “gender” and “gender” are often replaced by the other, their meanings are different. According to, sex is “a label assigned at birth based on the reproductive organs you were born with.”

“Gender includes a person’s perception, understanding and experience of themselves and roles in society … their inner sense of who they are meant to be and how they want to interact with the world.”

But both Michelle and Serena interact with the world as biological women.

Critics complain that Amazon’s system shows gender and race bias, and recent studies have confirmed this bias.

Studies led by Buolamwini found huge racial and gender biases in the face recognition software.

Protests across the United States prompted Amazon to suspend police use of their software by 2020.

After some adjustments, the ban was lifted by Amazon, saying it hoped Congress would pass a law to ensure ethical use of gender recognition technology. However, no such law has been passed, according to Fox Business.

Published in News

Tags: Amazon, controversy, gender recognition, Michelle Obama, Serena Williams, video


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