If you’re going out to eat with a “diverse” group of friends, a new app will calculate each diner’s “fair share” of the bill based on their respective races and genders. The app – called Equipay – has algorithms that use data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that show pay gaps along racial and gender lines.
For instance, one statistic cited by the app’s creators is that black women make about 64 cents for every dollar a white man makes. So, when a user inputs each diner into the app, including their respective races and genders, and applies the bill’s total, the app will calculate what each person owes towards the bill based on racial and gender pay gaps. As their website states:
“Equipay helps you avoid the entrenched discrimination that exists in our society. It doesn’t split the bill equally—it splits it equitably. You pay what you should to balance out the wage gap.”
In addition, if you’re part of a “high-privileged” group, the app applies a surcharge, which goes to help subsidize meals of minority groups, but also contributes to Equipay’s charitable fund. According to their site:
“When dining out with a high privilege group, Equipay automatically adds an EquipayItBack Surcharge. This fee subsidizes meals for others and funds Equipay’s charitable arm. Thanks!”
The app won the grand prize at the 2016 Comedy Hack Day, which brings “comedians, developers, and designers together.” Breitbart reports that the Equipay app – while its video presentation was humorous – is intended to be taken seriously. The app’s developer Luna Malbroux told Care2:
“I hope that this, more than anything, starts a discussion and helps people to start thinking a little bit differently about how we can use more technology and more innovation to address inequality and wage inequality.”
Since both gender and race are “fluid,” it would save users a lot of money if they all “identified” as black women.
Here’s the presentation of the Equipay app at Comedy Hack Day: