Education

Yale Gifted $1 Million To Study Alleged Racism Of Video Game Characters’ Hair

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Chrissy Clark Education Reporter
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Yale University received $1 million in funding to study the alleged racism inherent in algorithms that create video game avatars, according to a press release from the school.

Professor Theodore Kim is tasked with leading a team to “develop new tools and algorithms to bring inclusivity to the digital scream,” according to a press release from Yale. The school argues that the algorithms in video games are “deeply biased” and use “predominantly European features” to create avatars.

Yale’s press release claims that the most biased aspect of the avatar algorithm is “the representation of human hair,” specifically “Type 4 hair,” which is described as a “characteristic that most commonly occurs in Black communities.” There is too little representation of Type 4 hair, according to the press release.

“Kim will lead a group that will investigate the algorithmic representation of Type 4 hair as a uniquely anti-racist problem,” the university said.

Kim, an associate professor of computer science at the Ivy League university, said that the research will help “identify” harmful “systemic racism” in video games.

“This research 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,” the professor said.

The Bungie Foundation, a nonprofit focused on video game production and development donated the $1 million for the research grant. (RELATED: Ivy League School Created Racial Search Tool For Vendors)

Kim did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.

Similar efforts are underway at other universities to rectify alleged racism in innocuous scenarios. The University of Minnesota sought to employ an architecture professor focused on “design justice,” according to a report from The College Fix.