“This is CNN” is the cable network’s famous (and unoriginal) tagline, proclaimed through actor James Earl Jones’ authoritative pipes.
And now, this is CNN suggesting that robots are viewed in racist terms, based on a New Zealand laboratory’s study.
HIT Lab NZ’s report — which Christchurch-based University of Canterbury published — “suggests people perceive physically human-like robots to have a race and therefore apply racial stereotypes to white and black robots,” according to CNN Business.
What’s more, the study infers, that deduction stems from “shades of technological white” covering light-colored robots that people enjoyed in movies such as “Wall-E” and “I, Robot.”
NASA’s Valkyrie, another mechanical nonhuman, is also viewed favorably.
Ah, yes. Because whenever I’m watching a sci-fi movie, my foremost thought is, “Thank goodness that metallic creature isn’t black or brown — now I can enjoy my popcorn.”
In any case, CNN Business went on to report that Caucasian actors such as Scarlett Johansson and Audrey Hepburn have been the basis for “some real-life humanoid robots.”
No surprise that leftist Jeff Zucker’s beloved network was so excited to hear more racism-related news, CNN Business’ official Twitter account couldn’t wait to share it with the online world.
There is a reason most human-shaped robots are white, say researchers. And the reason is not productive at all. https://t.co/8HLJ8YmY0D
— CNN Business (@CNNBusiness) August 1, 2019
As could be expected, there was no shortage of backlash via social media about the story. One Twitter user took a shot at the softest target, CNN itself:
Just when I think you’ve hit rock bottom…
— Kevin Gallagher (@liberty_kevin) August 1, 2019
But another observer tweeted a more practical — and credible — reason for one’s aversion to human-like machines.
“People hate robots because they are losing their jobs to the robots,” that user wrote.
People hate robots because they are losing their jobs to the robots.
— mike bigalow (@mike_bigalow) August 1, 2019
Within HIT Lab NZ’s study as reported by CNN Business, perhaps the biggest howler is researcher Christoph Bartneck’s following assumption: “It is amazing to see how people who had no prior interaction with robots show racial bias towards them.”
As part of the laboratory experiment, it seems, there was a “shooter bias” test featuring a variety of robots appearing on screen.
“Black robots that were not holding weapons were shot more than the white ones not carrying guns,” CNN Business reported.
Well then, that settles it — that’s “The case-cracker!” as Joe Pesci sarcastically proclaimed in “My Cousin Vinny.”
The claim that non-living objects could be racist and objects of racism has emanated from the other side of world. Where such madness will end is anybody’s guess.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.