June 29th, 2020MORE: https://arxiv.org/pdf/2006.16923.pdf (PDF)
It has been brought to our attention that the Tiny Images dataset contains some derogatory terms as categories and offensive images. This was a consequence of the automated data collection procedure that relied on nouns from WordNet. We are greatly concerned by this and apologize to those who may have been affected.
The dataset is too large (80 million images) and the images are so small (32 x 32 pixels) that it can be difficult for people to visually recognize its content. Therefore, manual inspection, even if feasible, will not guarantee that offensive images can be completely removed.
We therefore have decided to formally withdraw the dataset. It has been taken offline and it will not be put back online. We ask the community to refrain from using it in future and also delete any existing copies of the dataset that may have been downloaded.
How it was constructed: The dataset was created in 2006 and contains 53,464 different nouns, directly copied from Wordnet. Those terms were then used to automatically download images of the corresponding noun from Internet search engines at the time (using the available filters at the time) to collect the 80 million images (at tiny 32x32 resolution; the original high-res versions were never stored).
Why it is important to withdraw the dataset: biases, offensive and prejudicial images, and derogatory terminology alienates an important part of our community -- precisely those that we are making efforts to include. It also contributes to harmful biases in AI systems trained on such data. Additionally, the presence of such prejudicial images hurts efforts to foster a culture of inclusivity in the computer vision community. This is extremely unfortunate and runs counter to the values that we strive to uphold.
Antonio Torralba, Rob Fergus, Bill Freeman.