Asian Student Asks AI For A ‘Professional’ Pic For LinkedIn: What the Tool Gave Her

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    An Asian MIT graduate was left shocked after she asked Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create a professional portrait of herself for her LinkedIn profile. According to Boston Globe, 24-year-old Rona Wang prompted the Playground AI image editor to make her headshot seem more “professional”. However, the result was not what she expected. 

    Sharing the picture on X, she wrote, ”was trying to get a linkedin profile photo with AI editing & this is what it gave me.”

    In the first pic, Ms. Wang is seen wearing a maroon MIT sweatshirt. She uploaded the image generator with the instruction, “Give the girl from the original photo a professional LinkedIn profile photo.”

    Much to her surprise, the AI tool gave her a fairer complexion, dark blonde hair, and blue eyes. Simply put, AI turned her into a white woman.

    “My initial reaction upon seeing the result was amusement. However, I’m glad to see that this has catalyzed a larger conversation around AI bias and who is or isn’t included in this new wave of technology,” Ms Wang told Insider.

    She added that “racial bias is a recurring issue in AI tools” and that the results had put her off them.

    “I haven’t gotten any usable results from AI photo generators or editors yet, so I’ll have to go without a new LinkedIn profile photo for now,” she added.

    Her tweet also caught the attention of Suhail Doshi, the founder of Playground AI.

    He responded saying, ”The models aren’t instructable like that so it’ll pick any generic thing based on the prompt. Unfortunately, they’re not smart enough. Happy to help you get a result but it takes a bit more effort than something like ChatGPT.”

    He further added ”we’re quite displeased with this and hope to solve it.”

    Another user also expressed his displeasure and wrote, ”Rona Wang is an Asian-American who asked an AI software to make her look more professional. What she got back was a photo w/ lighter skin & blue eyes! We MUST make sure AI software isn’t pushing racial bias! No race looks more professional than another!”


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