WhatsApp AI sticker shows boy with gun at ‘Palestinian boy’ prompt

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WhatsApp’s AI sticker feature shows a child with a gun for prompts such as ‘Palestinian boy’. Similar prompts about Israel do not show children with guns. Meta acknowledges that this is a problem and says she is working on it.

In WhatsApp, it has been possible for several months to create stickers based on prompts, using generative AI. The Guardian writes entering various prompts, such as ‘Muslim boy palestinian’, or ‘Palestine’, after which some stickers of people with guns were created, in addition to stickers without guns.

When the British newspaper introduced prompts such as ‘Israeli boy’, stickers of children playing football and reading appeared. For the ‘Israel army’ prompt, stickers were made of soldiers smiling and praying, even without weapons. The prompt ‘Hamas’ was blocked by WhatsApp.

The Guardian says, citing an anonymous source, that Meta employees had already spotted the problem and escalated it internally. A Meta spokesperson says the company recognizes there is a problem and is working on a solution. The spokesperson also points out that generative AI systems are still in development and can therefore generate “inaccurate or inappropriate outputs.” WhatsApp started testing the stickers feature in August.

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