The researchers then analyzed how often the models correctly detected the presence of people in the light-skinned group versus how often they got it right with people in the dark-skinned group.
The result? Detection was five percentage points less accurate, on average, for the dark-skinned group. That disparity persisted even when researchers controlled for variables like the time of day in images or the occasionally obstructed view of pedestrians.
“The main takeaway from our work is that vision systems that share common structures to the ones we tested should be looked at more closely,” Jamie Morgenstern, one of the authors of the study, told me.