Google has built a Pixel 6 camera to better portray dark-skinned people. will you do?

Google’s artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms have been criticized for how to handle dark skin tones, such as: Wrongly tagged a gorilla on a black photo.. The company apologized and said it would fix the software. Today, AI is used to power what is called the “world’s most comprehensive camera.”

The goal of Real Tone image processing on Google’s new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones is to “more accurately emphasize the nuances of diverse skin tones, especially dark skin tones.” According to the company website.. The new phone, which will begin shipping on Thursday, comes first with Real Tone.

In addition to the Pixel 6 review unit, I used two other competing smartphones

Apple Ltd


Samsung Electronics Ltd

, Test functionality with a group of camera-enabled participants. The result was amazing.

The Pixels camera is housed in a prominent ridge on the back of the phone and includes a series of new updates. The new sensor takes in 150% more light. The new editing tools simulate Photoshop’s expertise, including motion modes for action shots and a magic eraser that can remove people and objects from the scene. (Using this feature, I removed the head of a wedding guest in a photo of a bride walking down the aisle.)

Pixel 6’s motion mode uses machine learning on the device to identify the direction of the subject and action and add a blur effect.


Nicole Nguyen / Wall Street Journal

Pixel for a long time Lots of AI-driven tricks You can be a photo witch. But this time, Google wants to fight what many describe as a racial prejudice in camera technology.

“When I was taking pictures of my iPhone with my friends, it got very dark, especially in groups,” said Mark Clenon, a photographer taking pictures of a black man standing in front of Trump Tower. It was one of the more impressive images Demonstration of last year’s Black Lives Matter. “If I were the only black man in the picture, I would be almost missing or lost in the shadows.”

John Edwin Mason, an associate professor of African history and photography history at the University of Virginia, said: “The technique and practical technique developed by the photographer was to capture the skin color of whites.”

“Both movies and digital technology are still biased towards doing justice on white skin, and black skin is considered later,” he added.


Florian Koenigsberger, who leads Google’s camera and image diversity efforts, said that from early 2020, Google’s team began adding colored racial images to databases that train Pixel cameras, such as face detection. It says that it was. The company also hired photographers and other professionals in photos and videos to provide feedback on optimal white balance and exposure adjustments for darker skin, especially in harsh lighting conditions.

Jasmine Hershey in Fremont, California preferred the Pixel 6 photos to the iPhone 13 Mini images. “This is an exact picture of what I look like in the mirror,” she said.


Nicole Nguyen / Wall Street Journal

A series of photos taken by Jasmine Hercy, Event Operations Director in Fremont, California, showed photographers about settings that Google’s AI is likely to be adjusting. Because the image is backlit, the subject tends to darken unnaturally and fade.

“They seem to have made up for the shadows,” said photographer Davie Adesida, looking at Hershey’s Pixel 6 photo. “The shadows make the image brighter,” said Adesida, who said the pixels did a slightly better job of capturing Hershey’s skin than the iPhone. “I agree with all these changes, but why didn’t they ever think about this?” He said.

On Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, Real Tone is a feature that is always on, so don’t forget to turn it on. Also, in the coming weeks, photos uploaded to the service will be released as improvements to the Google Photos auto-extension tool for iOS and Android apps.

Share your thoughts

What’s the biggest problem you had with your phone camera? Join the conversation below.

“In most cases, smartphones are great for recognizing dark skin tones,” said Dario Calmese, the first black photographer. Take a picture of the cover of Vanity Fair magazine.. “But we are constantly trying to tune, rig, or hack these systems to make them work. There are usually some additional steps.”

A spokeswoman for Apple and Samsung says they are also developing phone camera systems by examining different skin tones.

In June

Adobe Ltd

Released preset filters for photo app Processes images of dark-skinned people more appropriately.

snap Ltd

Working on a similar project It’s integrated with Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro to optimize your camera for darker skin, so you can access your Snapchat camera from your smartphone’s lock screen.

Real life real tone

Google, a subsidiary of

alphabet Ltd,

The purpose is to “express beautifully and accurately the color of all people and skin.” I wanted to know how people of different skin tones feel about images, so I asked 18 visitors to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco for permission to take pictures and asked questions.

I took a picture outdoors on a cloudy day. I installed a normal wide-angle lens on three smartphones (Google’s Pixel 6). Samsung Galaxy S21 When Apple iPhone 13 Mini.. The goal was to capture the default image for each phone. This is the image you get when you press the shutter button and do nothing else.

Each phone created a different look. Most of the people surveyed agreed that pixel-shot photos were the most accurate representation of skin color. However, everyone except three liked the look in Samsung’s images.

Samsung, World-leading smartphone manufacturer, Automatically adds skin-smoothing effects and tends to produce brighter, more saturated photos. The iPhone and Pixel photos are more detailed, but tend to give a more subdued impression when compared.

A Samsung spokeswoman said the company is using research data and trends from research from a team of color scientists to develop cameras.

Jamaul Butts on the right and Summer Butts in Tampa, Florida liked the Samsung image. Butts said it looked the most “clean”, but his skin on Google images was more natural. “Photographs often look vague and everything needs to be brightened and edited.”


Nicole Nguyen / Wall Street Journal

Right, Alery Garcia of Davis, California, liked pixel photos more than Samsung images. Leginia Jackson liked Samsung’s shots. She said. “The default for most people with dark skin is to make the photo black and white, so you don’t have to deal with getting the right skin color, but I like the color!”


Nicole Nguyen / Wall Street Journal

According to an Apple spokeswoman, the company has improved skin tone rendering on the iPhone 13, especially darker skin tones, and images of darker people look more natural under different lighting conditions. I did. She said Apple has promised to make further improvements over time and hopes the industry will continue to improve.

On the left, Carlo Steven Catabay of Livermore, Calif., And Michelle Bayaua of Antioch, Calif., Said that the iPhone and Pixel 6 captured clearer images, but preferred Samsung’s “softer” look. “On social media, people edit themselves anyway,” Bayaua said.


Nicole Nguyen / Wall Street Journal

Mohammed Sonko on the left and Susan Sonko in Atlanta both seemed to be balanced “without lighting or special effects”, so they both preferred pixel images. Sonko added: “The quality of the new camera is improving, but the other day when the sun went down, we were much darker than the fair-skinned people in the group.


Nicole Nguyen / Wall Street Journal

Our research cannot assess what people in all shades look like in all lighting conditions. However, it shows that each phone has a different skin tone. It also shows that there is often a difference between accurate representation and preferred appearance.

Historically, Google’s Pixel smartphone Occupies some of the smartphones sold— Less than 2% in North America.According to the company Finally serious about selling phonesIn addition to a larger and better screen than its predecessor, it features a Google-designed chipset optimized for Pixel software.

Google phones may not be a big seller, but they are influential. The Pixel line is an Android showcase, Over 70% market share worldwide.. Cameras play a big role in people’s phone choices, but phone camera marketing has traditionally focused on specifications. With the launch of Real Tone, Google is primarily highlighting the key ways the white tech industry seeks to better serve color users.

— For more information on WSJ technology analysis, reviews, advice, and headlines Sign up for the weekly newsletter..

Write in Nicole Nguyen And in Dalbin Brown

Correction and amplification
The Wall Street Journal Nicole Nguyen is credited with a photo of the blur effect. Earlier versions of this article mistakenly posted Google credits. (Corrected on October 25)

Copyright © 2021 DowJones & Company, Inc. all rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Google has built a Pixel 6 camera to better portray dark-skinned people. will you do?

Source link Google has built a Pixel 6 camera to better portray dark-skinned people. will you do?

Back to top button