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Retiring Lenna

Posted 2 years ago
10 Replies
11 Total Likes

In the interests of equality, isn't it time Wolfram stopped using a playboy image, Lenna, in its documentation?

POSTED BY: Jane Delany
10 Replies


POSTED BY: Arno Bosse

My understanding is any such usage would be considered a documentation bug. Where is this image used in current documentation?

POSTED BY: Daniel Lichtblau

A Google reverse image search restricted to finds three examples. Only one is in the current documentation: I could have sworn I've seen it elsewhere too in the docs but I can't find the references now.

Update: And ExampleData[{"TestImage", "Lena"}].

POSTED BY: Arno Bosse
Posted 2 years ago


Relatively recent discussions on the Mathematica Stack Exchange Chat: Unfortunately for some responding there is the "rationale" that if they aren't offended, then it's inconceivable that anyone else should be offended or that there can only be a very few that might be offended (and that those few just complain all the time anyway). Then there are those who insist that such examples remain because it has great historical value.

There's also a website devoted to retiring Lena:

Finally, on the Mathematica Stack Exchange site, there are recent (November 2019) postings using Lena by extremely high reputation folks (some even being moderators):

So there is a long way to go.

POSTED BY: Jim Baldwin

What a strange discussion! I cannot see any substantial difference between this Lena image and e.g.

ExampleData /@ {{"TestImage", "Couple"}, {"TestImage", "Couple2"}, {"TestImage", "Elaine"}, {"TestImage", "Girl"}, {"TestImage", "Girl2"}, {"TestImage", "Girl3"}, {"TestImage", "Man"}, {"TestImage", 
   "Mandrill"}, {"TestImage", "TestPattern"}, {"TestImage", "Tiffany"}}

One has to know that "Lena" is a small cutout of a bigger image, well, yes - originally published in some infamous magazine. But one can not see this! And because I do not read those magazines I will never know.

So the bottom line is: We do no longer want to see images of people, do we?

POSTED BY: Henrik Schachner
Posted 2 years ago

Henrick: This is the only time I think you've been wrong. Not knowing the source of the photo is not the issue. From the webpage Retiring Lena

Retiring Lena as an image used in coding goes beyond copyright, consent or ethics. It is a required step to help women feel more welcome in tech.

POSTED BY: Jim Baldwin

Dear Jim,

Nice from you, but, well, I was surely more often wrong than just once! And I definitely did not want to offend anyone! I am beginning to see the point. But then a lot of images have to "retire". If I were a women I would feel much more offended by images like ExampleData[{"TestImage", "Girl"}], which shows a stupid coffee-and-cake-look under a stupid haircut - a women from a time when housekeeping was their designated business.

POSTED BY: Henrik Schachner
Posted 2 years ago

Agree to retiring this image. I used it recently to test some image filters because my understanding was that Lena was a standard example used throughout the CS world. Not only was I wrong, I got in a bit of hot water. I assumed (sigh) the image must have been used because it had some unusual contrast or other photog features that made it a good test image. TIL the standard Lena pic is actually a PB image. Ugh.

POSTED BY: Dave Himes

ExampleData[{"TestImage", "Lena"}]
Out[]= (* This output has been censored because the original 
 author Lena doesn't want her head chopped off and misused, but 
 apparently the call did still work in Version 11.2.  *)

Time for an upgrade?

POSTED BY: Brad Klee
Posted 9 months ago
(* 12.3.1 for Mac OS X ARM (64-bit) (July 8, 2021) *)

ExampleData::obsolete: {TestImage,Lena} is being deprecated, and may not be available in future versions of the Wolfram Language.

POSTED BY: Rohit Namjoshi
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