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Meta’s AI image generator can’t imagine an Asian man with a white woman

Meta’s AI image generator can’t imagine an Asian man with a white woman© Image: The Verge / Meta AI

Have you ever seen an Asian person with a white person, whether that’s a mixed-race couple or two friends of different races? Seems pretty common to me — I have lots of white friends!

To Meta’s AI-powered image generator, apparently this is impossible to imagine. I tried dozens of times to create an image using prompts like “Asian man and Caucasian friend,” “Asian man and white wife,” and “Asian woman and Caucasian husband.” Only once was Meta’s image generator able to return an accurate image featuring the races I specified.

Tweaking the text-based prompt didn’t seem to help. When I asked for an “Asian man and white woman smiling with a dog,” Meta’s text generator on Instagram gave me three back-to-back pictures of two Asian people. When I changed “white” to “Caucasian,” it did the same. “Asian man and Caucasian woman on wedding day” gave me an Asian man in a suit and an Asian woman in a traditional-looking garment... except upon further inspection, it appears to be a mix of a qipao and kimono. Multiculturalism is amazing.

The image generator also didn’t like when I asked for representations of platonic relationships, like “Asian man with Caucasian friend” and “Asian woman and white friend.” Each time, it returned images of two Asian people. When I asked for a picture of an “Asian woman with Black friend,” the AI-generated image showed two Asian women. Tweaking it to “Asian woman with African American friend” yielded more accurate results.


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