Twitter vows to fix bias image cropping to reduce harm

"While our analyses to date haven't shown racial or gender bias, we recognise that the way we automatically crop photos means there is a potential for harm," Twitter CTO Parag Agrawal and CDO Dantley Davis wrote in a blog post on Thursday.

The image cropping system relies on saliency, which predicts where people might look first.

For its initial bias analysis, Twitter tested pair-wise preference between two demographic groups (White-Black, White-Indian, White-Asian and male-female).

"We located the maximum of the saliency map, and recorded which demographic category it landed on.

We repeated this 200 times for each pair of demographic categories and evaluated the frequency of preferring one over the other," Agrawal said.

Twitter said giving people more choices for image cropping and previewing what they'll look like in the Tweet composer may help reduce the risk of harm.

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