MOVE OVER Prince Philip, your racist remarks about Asian facial expressions are as nothing to the gesture of one Passport checking facial recognition robot.
Richard Lee, 22, was unable to renew his New Zealand passport after the software which checks photo submissions rejected him nine times.
The reason? His eyes were closed.
Except they clearly weren’t. He was born in Taiwan. His eyes are supposed to be like that. It's called an Epicanthic fold or plica palpebra nasalis and it's a geographic norm.
Legendarily, in 1986 Prince Philip told a group of British students in Xian, China, "If you stay here much longer you'll all be slitty-eyed."
Now it appears that face recognition software offers similar ethnic gaffery.
After sharing the picture on Facebook, many people protested and told him he should sue for racism but Mr Lee, a student and DJ, was able to joke about it, telling Reuters: "No hard feelings on my part, I've always had very small eyes and facial recognition technology is relatively new and unsophisticated.
"It was a robot, no hard feelings. I got my passport renewed in the end."
A spokesman for the New Zealand Department for Internal Affairs explained that up to 20 per cent of submissions were rejected, with closed eyes being the most common reason, thus making the software quite sensitive to them.
For his part Mr Lee has created a picture which improves the issue somewhat, saying he hopes that it will be accepted first time.
Erm. Yes. It's funny because he did it himself.
Automatic facial recognition passport gates are now becoming commonplace at UK airports after being adopted by Passport Control or, to give them their full ridiculous title "Border Force" which sounds like a version of He-Man for the Donald Trump era.
They don’t work properly and, based on our experiences, have made getting back into Britain even more miserable than it was before.
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