Yale University Announced $1 Million Research Project to Combat Racist Hair in Video Game
Racial Issues, Theodore Kim, Video Games, Yale
Tennessee Star reports:
Yale University’s Computer Science Department recently announced a $1 million donation given to them from the Bungie Foundation for a research project that fights against racist hair graphics in video games.
“It is widely assumed that the algorithms used to generate virtual humans are based in biological underpinnings that accurately reflect all races and ethnicities,” the announcement reads. “In reality, however, these algorithms are deeply biased and based on predominantly European features.”
The project will be led by Theodore Kim, Associate Professor of Computer Science at Yale.
According to Kim, the project will “serve as an example of how to identify the products of systemic racism in computer graphics and demonstrate how to take concrete steps to ameliorate their harm.”
Kim believes that this racial bias in video game hair stems from Computer Graphics Researchers that have “historically favored the simulation and rendering of straight hair, which is racially coded as European or Caucasian hair.