The Human Race Machine, created by artist Nancy Burson, is a unique tool that shows users how they will look as six different races, represented as Asian, white, black, Hispanic, East Indian or Middle Eastern. The "machine" is a one-of-a-kind computer that looks a lot like a mall photo booth—the user sits down and has their photo snapped. Then, the user is asked to digitally map the edges of their facial features. Within seconds, The Human Race Machine generates an approximation of what they would look like as a different race. It's a unique experience that places the viewer for a brief moment in someone else's shoes.
Oprah tried out The Human Race Machine with the help of Walied Osman—with fascinating results (see above). Walied, an independent producer and Race Machine representative, says the concept for The Human Race Machine grew from an amazing fact: the DNA of any two humans is 99.97 percent identical.
"We created the machine because we are 99.9 percent genetically alike," Walied says. "All of us—no difference. The only reason why we do have differences is that in theory, if we started all in the same place and we spread out in the world—our environment—we adapted to our environment in terms of skin color, hair. Environment changes us. ... But it doesn't change the fact that we're all the same." What if you could change the color of your skin? Meet two families who did just that.