Issues with AI-Generated Headshots Disproportionately Affect Women of Color

Professional headshots generated by artificial intelligence have gained popularity among young workers. However, some women of color have reported issues with the technology. They claim that AI-generated headshots often lighten their skin tones, distort their hairstyles, and alter their facial shapes.

One user, who is Asian-American, requested the AI program to create a professional LinkedIn profile photo. However, the result made her look like a white person. The founder of Playground AI clarified that the service is not intended for professional headshots.

As resumes and professional social media profiles become more instagrammable, many individuals seek to create the perfect headshot. Hiring a professional photographer and ensuring top-tier hair and makeup can be expensive. As an alternative, people can upload their own photos, including selfies, to AI platforms. These platforms use AI models to generate professional images based on the uploaded photos and other training data.

Unfortunately, many Black, Latina, and Asian women have complained that AI-generated photos often go beyond minor technological errors. For example, Danielle DeRuiter-Williams, a diversity specialist, experienced having her nose narrowed and her skin lightened in an AI-generated photo.

The issue lies in the underlying racial and gender biases within the AI technology. The founder of AI SuitUp, one of the services mentioned, admitted that the lack of diverse data inputs can lead to skewed results. The technology often relies on photos of doctors, which are predominantly male, leading to inaccurate representations of women.

Acknowledging the need for improvement, the founder highlighted the importance of refining the data and photos used to train AI models. Consumers are increasingly demanding a better product, and companies are beginning to take steps to address these biases.

In conclusion, AI-generated headshots have faced criticism from women of color who have experienced issues with skin tone, hairstyles, and facial shapes. However, the industry is recognizing these concerns and working towards creating more inclusive and accurate technology.

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