An MIT graduate was caught by surprise when she prompted an artificial intelligence image generator to create a professional headshot for her LinkedIn profile, and it instead changed her race.
Rona Wang — a 24-year-old Asian American student who studied math and computer science, is completing a graduate program at MIT in the fall, and whose identity was verified by Insider — had been experimenting with the AI-image creator Playground AI. The Boston Globe was the first to report on the news.
Wang tweeted images of the results on July 14, saying: "Was trying to get a linkedin profile photo with AI editing & this is what it gave me."
In the first image, Wang appears to be wearing a red MIT sweatshirt that she uploaded into the image generator with the prompt: "Give the girl from the original photo a professional linkedin profile photo."
The second image showed that the AI tool had altered her features to appear more Caucasian, with lighter skin and blue eyes.
"My initial reaction upon seeing the result was amusement," Wang told Insider. "However, I'm glad to see that this has catalyzed a larger conversation around AI bias and who is or isn't included in this new wave of technology."