Thursday, 22 February, 2018

United Kingdom develops new tool to detect extremist content

2428424556_afa2ed486f_z Britain partners with AI startup to bracket extremist content
Heather Davidson | 15 February, 2018, 07:17

According to them, numerous major tech companies have developed technology specific to their own platforms and have publicly reported on the difference this is making in their fight against terrorist content.

The tool is intended for use by small companies, which are often heavily burdened with moderation tasks that they may not have the resources to cope with, helping them to remove undesirable content effectively and in good time.

According to ASI Data Science, the software is capable of detecting 94 per cent of IS's online activity, with an accuracy of 99.995 per cent.

Any content that the software is still unsure about would then be passed on for a human to review.

The system is to be made available to smaller companies, as the government says that these are increasingly being targeted by extremists to publish propaganda.

But Home secretary Amber Rudd said that she would not rule out forcing tech companies to use the technology by law in an interview with the BBC.

All five major United Kingdom terrorist attacks in 2017 had an "online component", Ms Rudd said, adding there was a need to prevent the material being uploaded online and radicalising people.

Rudd visited the U.S. to meet tech companies to discuss the idea, as well as other efforts to tackle extremism.

Mrs May has also frequently cajoled internet companies such as Facebook and Twitter to do more to prevent safe spaces online that allow extremism to proliferate.

Silicon Valley giants such as Facebook and Google are pouring their own resources into solving this problem, but this tool is at first meant to be used by small companies, and they may one day be forced to use it.

The news comes as Rudd is in the United States to meet with tech giants to discuss ways of working to collaboratively counteract the emergence of online extremist content. Even with a high degree of accuracy, critics say, there could be a lot of false positive when used with a major distributor of video content.

However, the bigger challenge is predicting which parts of the internet the terrorists will use next.

"The tool can be used by any platform, and integrated into the upload process, so that the majority of video propaganda is stopped before it ever reaches the Internet", the Home Office added in a statement.

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