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Home » What is the Monk Skin Tone scale, How will it work?

What is the Monk Skin Tone scale, How will it work?

What is the Monk Skin Tone scale, How will it work?

The world’s largest search engine- Google, always known for its innovative ideas and life-changing services, has launched a 10-shade Monk Skin Tone (MST) Scale in its last week’s annual I/O developer conference. It will improve the appearance of skin tones in images and enhance search results across a more diverse user base. In Google’s words, this 10-shade Scale will “support inclusive products and research across the industry”.

In a blogpost on May 11, Google said it released the Monk Skin Tone (MST) scale, in partnership with Harvard professor and sociologist Dr Ellis Monk, to make more “inclusive of the spectrum of skin tones in our society.” In the coming months it will assimilate the MST Scale into various Google products so that anyone can use it for research and product development, Google said.

What is MST Scale?

The Monk Skin Tone (MST) Scale is a type of AI that allows computers to see and understand images. It will be primarily incorporated by Google into computer vision and found that computer vision systems often do not function as efficiently for people of darker skin as they do for people of fairer skin.

Using the MST scale, Google and the tech industry are planning to create a more representative dataset so that such AI models can be able to identify a wider range of skin tones in images.

In 1975 American dermatologist Thomas B Fitzpatrick developed the Fitzpatrick scale that had only six skin tones but failed in identifying people of colour. But Google’s MST scale will give 10 shade skin tones especially designed for people with darker skin tones.

Google said in a blogpost, “MST scale was designed to be easy to use for the evaluation and development of technology while representing a broader range of skin tones.”

Google found in its research that amongst participants in the U.S., people found the Monk Skin Tone Scale to be more representative of their skin tones compared to the current tech industry standard.

How will MST scale work?

It will provide a facility for different skin tone shades to millions of people who search the web to find images that reflect their specific needs. MST Scale make it easier for people of all backgrounds to find more relevant and helpful results.

For example, if you search for “bridal makeup” looks in Google images, this scale will see an option to further refine your results by skin tone which will more easily find results that work better for your needs.

The tech giant plans to further expand the use of this schema – a database structure created based on different skin tones – so that manufacturers and online businesses can use their ingredients or products based on other characteristics such as hair colour and hair texture, to label.

Google has openly launched the scale so that anyone can use it for research and product development.

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