WhatsApp AI stickers generate Palestinian kids with guns

Occurred: November 2023

Meta's AI Stickers product was discovered to be generating images of Palestinian children with guns, leading to accusations of racial stereotyping and bias.

In response to prompts using the terms 'Palestinian', 'Palestine' or 'Muslim boy Palestinian',  AI Stickers returned pictures of gun-wielding children, The Guardian found. Conversely, prompts for 'Israeli boy'” generated cartoons of children playing soccer and reading.

Launched in September 2023, AI Stickers draws on Meta's Llama 2 open source large language model and Emu image generation model to allow users to turn text prompts into stickers. 

The discovery of the offending stickers came during the 2023 Israel-Hamas war. Meta described the problem as a 'glitch'. 

Developer: Meta/WhatsApp
Country: Palestine
Sector: Politics
Purpose: Generate stickers
Technology: Text-to-image; Generative adversarial network (GAN); Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning
Issue: Stereotyping
Transparency: Governance