Twitter launches competition to identify its biases in image algorithm

Twitter will launch a competition for computer researchers and hackers to identify biases in its image-cropping algorithm.
Twitter developers
This follows a group of researchers previously found the algorithm tended to exclude Black people and men.

The US-based social networking company said the winners will receive cash prizes ranging from $500 to $3,500 and will be invited to present their work at a workshop hosted by Twitter at DEF CON in August, one of largest hacker conferences held annually in Las Vegas.

The competition is part of an effort across the tech industry to ensure artificial intelligence technologies (AI) act ethically.

The winning teams will receive cash prizes via HackerOne:

$3,500 1st Place

$1,000 2nd Place

$500 3rd Place

$1,000 for Most Innovative

$1,000 for Most Generalizable (i.e., applies to the most types of algorithms)

The competition was aimed at identifying potential harms of this algorithm beyond what we identified ourselves, Rumman Chowdhury, Director, Twitter META and Jutta Williams, Product Manager, Twitter META, said in a blog post.

The social media company said in May a study by three of its machine learning researchers found an 8 percent difference from demographic parity in favor of women, and a 4 percent favor toward white individuals.

Twitter released the computer code that decides how images are cropped in the Twitter feed, and said on Friday participants are asked to find how the algorithm could cause harm, such as stereotyping or denigrating any group of people.

For more details on the challenge, including how to enter and the rubric we’ll use to score entries, visit the submission page on HackerOne. Panel of judges: Ariel Herbert-VossMatt MitchellPeiter “Mudge” Zatko, and Patrick Hall.