Clarifai, which provides a cloud-based image-recognition service that plugs into apps and websites, says it’s working to prevent such gaffes. It’s introduced what it claims is a well-trained Demographics model to recognize gender, age, and what the company calls “multicultural appearance.” The terms “race” and “ethnicity” have too many negative connotations or generalizations, writes CEO Matthew Zeiler in a blog post. Terminology notwithstanding, multicultural appearance recognizes familiar identities including Asian; black or African-American; Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin; Middle Eastern or North African; and white. Meanwhile, “gender” is designed to recognize how people present themselves, not just their biological sex, says Zeiler.

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