Nvidia today apologized for publishing a tweet on Tuesday that depicts a graphics card with scantily clad legs. The tweet imitating the “Did it work” meme was sent from Nvidia’s GeForce Twitter account, which has over 1 million followers. The tweet was “errantly” posted and quickly removed, an Nvidia spokesperson told VentureBeat. “We apologize unreservedly. This was errantly posted and removed quickly, as soon as we became aware of it,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
The meme that Nvidia imitated started after a performance by Lisa from K-pop group Blackpink. As Mashable explains, when the legs are posted alongside a shot from the torso up on Twitter, it can look like a peculiarly natural fit.
In addition to fans of the group, actor and host Stephen Colbert and brands like GameStop and Netflix posted their own tweets with Lisa’s legs, along with the phrase “Did it work?” Nvidia put the legs on a GeForce RTX 2080 Super graphics card, which drew the attention and ire of machine learning researchers. Nvidia machine learning research director Anima Anandkumar appears to have intervened to have the tweet removed.
Thanks for bringing this to my attention. It is now fixed. I will ensure that this is not repeated again
— Prof. Anima Anandkumar (@AnimaAnandkumar) April 29, 2020
Anandkumar is a frequent supporter of initiatives for the equitable treatment of women. Speaking with VentureBeat at the start of the year about machine learning trends, Anandkumar shared her optimism that the machine learning community could be on the cusp of a watershed moment in terms of maturity and inclusion.
Earlier this month, she urged members of the AI community to ditch the idea of “godfathers of AI” because it “wipes out contributions made by numerous women in AI,” including ImageNet creator Dr. Fei-Fei Li.
A Stanford University study highlighted by Li and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences earlier this month found that women and people of color in academia produce scientific novelty at higher rates than white men, but those contributions are often “devalued and discounted” in the context of hiring and promotion.
Last month, the Algorithmic Justice League — together with women technologists like former White House CTO Megan Smith and prominent AI researchers — launched the Voicing Erasure project to protest bias in tech journalism and academia.