If you thought it’s only people who can be racist, think again. In this video, we show you technologies that are quite racist.
Before 1960s, the N-word was used quite frequently in patents.
1. Negro clog dancers (US1589432)
2. Head of a negro on a gun (USD17397 S)
3. Negro mammy doll (USD120224 S)
4. Apparatus for doing Negro hair style (US3892246 A)
5. Head of a negro child on a spoon (USD29866)
6. Negro head on a toy bank (USD35306)
7. Depilatories for removal of facial hair, especially for Negro males. (US 3981681 A)
8. I cant believe this one. Materials for embalming human corpses. But according to patent nothing helps the bodies of Negroes.
One would think, since 1960s, racism would have disappeared from patents. Well, you can think so, the reality is a bit different.
1. Here are some interesting racist patents published recently.
This threat detector gun (US8322605) is designed for use by police and security personnel. This gun has a camera that can scan the features of a person on whom it’s being pointed and detects the race. Based on the detected race, the device displays a level of threat posed by the person.
2. And then there is this electronic billboard (US8249931) which displays advertisements depending on the race of the people looking at it. This technology uses cameras to capture images of a person facing the display screen and then analyzes the skin color and other features to detect the race and ethnicity. Advertisements are then selected and displayed based on the race and even the weight of the person.
So this patent is not only racist but also discriminates you on your weight!
3. When calling customer support, you may think you get connected to the agent who is available at that moment. But not according to this call routing system (US8718262) which first detects what race you belong to and then chooses a customer support personnel according to your race. So don’t be surprised if every time you call customer care, you are connected to a person of your own race!
4. This patent proves that racism can be targeted against any race. Here’s an ATM machine (US7854378) that allows you to interact with a real customer service provider to guide you to carry out your transaction. The machine displays the face of the customer service provider and presents the voice to make the interaction as natural as possible. But apparently, this machine thinks the face of a middle aged white male is not acceptable to be shown. So when the service provider is such, it automatically transforms the face and voice to that of an “attractive young black woman”.
5. But it’s not just adults who are discriminated by racist technologies. This learning aid (US5122952) for children actually selects and presents toys, games and other learning material based on the race of the child.