AI shows what typical high school cliques look like and immediately sparks controversy
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Featured Image Credit: Reddit/Midjourney/u/echoaj24
One thing which has become clear about AI is that it can reflect the prejudices of the society which has created it.
Pretty impressive, but the result is influenced by all of the factors contained with that database, which itself will be skewed in certain ways.
And that certainly seemed to come to a head with a list generated to show different high school cliques.
It has many that you might expect, such as nerds, emos, popular kids.
You know, typical high school cliques.
But one particular part of the images generated seems like an unusual choice for a group of high schoolers.
When I think of school cliques, it's things like nerds, jocks, theatre kids, bandies, populars, maybe even 'inbetweeners' for the kids who kind of fall somewhere in the middle.
The sorts of things you'd expect from having grown up watching films like High School Musical, Mean Girls, or indeed The Inbetweeners.
However, one of the prompts which was put in to create a high school clique was 'the druggies'.
'Druggies' isn't something that would exactly leap to mind.
'Stoners' might work if it's for high school senior, and it just conjures up an image like Shaggy from Scooby Doo.
'Druggies' is something else entirely.
Not only was the prompt a bit weird, but the image conjured up by the AI of the 'druggies' solely featured people of colour. Yikes.
And many were quick to pick up on that.
Someone said: "And all the druggies are people of color lmao" to which someone else replied: "Funny because the druggies I knew growing up were mostly white kids."
Another commented: "Don’t forget ‘the druggies’ are all poc."
A third said: "And druggies are all black?"
And a final said: "Well if this isn’t racist as f**k I don’t know what is."
Some also pointed out that 'normal' kids were also 'a picture of white people'.
Other prompts included things which you might expect, however.
The emos certainly looked like they enjoyed rocking out to My Chemical Romance or Fall Out Boy, while the anime fans more look like they're on their way to a convention rather than school.
Meanwhile, the skaters all seemed like they were just on the edge of perfecting the perfect kick flip but could never quite get it right.
There were also the staples of any good American high school movie: the nerds and the jocks.
Both of these could be spread over two different pictures, with there also being the sporty clique and the gamers.
Gaming might not be thought of a nerdy pastime in 2023, but the image of rucksacks caps, and handheld gaming devices strike a particular image.
There were also some of the more specialised cliques, like people who only have one friend, neatly called 'one friend only. Finally, there was the people who don't fit into any one group or have any friends in particular, the 'loners'.
We've probably all seen the familiar image of someone sitting by themselves in a classroom before.
Most likely in a movie perhaps.