The team of researchers studying AI in robots, which included members from the University of Washington and the Technical University of Munich in Germany, trained virtual robots on CLIP, a large language artificial intelligence model created and unveiled by OpenAI last year.

The popular model, which visually classifies objects, is built by scraping billions of images and text captions from the internet. While still in its early stages, it is cheaper and less labor intensive for robotics companies to use versus creating their own software from scratch, making it a potentially attractive option.

The researchers gave the virtual robots 62 commands. When researchers asked robots to identify blocks as “homemakers,” Black and Latina women were more commonly selected than White men, the study showed. When identifying “criminals,” Black men were chosen 9 percent more often than White men.In actuality, scientists said, the robots should not have responded, because they were not given information to make that judgment.