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Pinterest to use AI, algorithm to represent more body types in search

The social platform says it will use what it calls "body type technology" to increase representation for various beauty standards.
Pinterest to use AI, algorithm to represent more body types in search
Posted at 5:10 PM, Sep 07, 2023

Social platform Pinterest announced this week that it will be ramping up the use of AI and algorithms involved in its new "body type technology" to improve search results to show more body types to users. 

When users search for things like makeup, clothing and other inspiring design ideas and fashion, the platform wants to display a wider array of beauty standards in products, design and models. 

"When you don’t feel represented, it’s hard to feel inspired," the company said. 

SEE MORE: Google introduces new rules for the use of AI in political ads

For users who are not tall, they should expect to see more fashion suggestions in searches, like for back-to-school attire, that fit their height and body type. 

Pinterest said it was "inspired by user behavior and the culturally critical discussion around body representation." The company said it has partnered with experts to develop their body type technology that "uses shape, sizes, and form to identify body types in images."

The goal is to examine how social media platforms tend to amplify long-standing biases toward light-skinned, tall and thin women as the mainstream standard for beauty. 

"Pinterest has shaped its algorithms to increase representation of both body type and skin tone across search results and related Pins," the company said. So, Pinterest says, if a user searches for fashion inspiration, they should see search results that are more inclusive of the wide array of body types and skin tones that exist. 

A study published in the National Library of Medicine found that as the importance of body positivity increases, it puts more attention on the harms caused by fat-shaming and weight bias. 

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