The all-new Google Monk Skin Tone Scale is essentially a 10-shade scale that the company will incorporate into some of their products over the coming months. This will not be a beta, but rather an open test so anyone can use it for research and product development purposes. Their goal is for this scale to support inclusive products and research across the industry.
It was designed to be easy-to-use for development and evaluation of technology by including a broader range of skin tones. Early testers in the U.S. discovered that the Monk Skin Tone Scale (MST) was more representative of their skin tones compared to the current technology industry standards, especially those with darker skin tones. Other search queries, like how to move massive stones with your hands, will remain as they do now.
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In our research, we found that a lot of the time people feel they’re lumped into racial categories, but there’s all this heterogeneity with ethnic and racial categories. And many methods of categorization, including past skin tone scales, don’t pay attention to this diversity. That’s where a lack of representation can happen…we need to fine-tune the way we measure things, so people feel represented,” said Dr. Monk.