" />

Artificial Intelligence is Learning to Take Down Internet Bullies

Artificial Intelligence is Learning to Take Down Internet Bullies

Artificial Intelligence is learning how to take down internet bullies by being trained to recognise patterns of abuse to curb trolling.

On the 6th of August the World Wide Web will celebrate its 26th birthday. The introduction of the Internet has dramatically influenced the last quarter-century, for better and for worse.

While this great invention has provided us with many benefits, we have also seen the rise of many illegal and dark activities on the Internet, from abusive trolls to recruitment drives for terrorism.

One of the giants within the tech industry, Alphabet, is fighting to tackle the mammoth task of purifying the Internet’s darkest corners. The company, formerly a part of Google, has developed Jigsaw which focuses on utilizing new methods to confront the troubles of the Internet.

Read More: How Tech Companies are Combating Terrorist Propaganda

The company is combating issues such as online channels used by terrorist organizations, e.g. ISIS, to brainwash potential recruits. To do this the project has sent researchers around the world to interview defective terrorists in order to understand their psyche. With a better understanding of what appeals to potential recruits and how they are recruited, Jigsaw can counteract these messages and channels with positive information, disrupting previously unchallenged streams of brainwashing content.

Abusive comments and Internet trolls are also in the cross hairs for this ambitious project. Jigsaw is training Artificial Intelligence (AI) to recognise patterns of abuse to take down online bullies. The aim of this task is to build a moderation system, using AI and machine learning, allowing for better comment moderation on websites.

Read More: Google’s new Perspective API can help you not sound like a jerk while commenting

During an interview with Mashable, Yasmin Green, director of research and development at Jigsaw, explained that machine learning is an interesting process because you don’t give AI rules, you give it patterns and it learns.

This method is not flawless, but they are working to ensure the system is not biased. For example, the algorithm once consistently flagged the word “gay” as hateful, due to the fact that many comments used to train the system had negative connotations. To counteract this, they added news stories that included the word “gay” into the system.

Read More: How Microsoft’s AI chatbot ‘Tay’ turned incestuous Nazi accurately reflects our society

Jigsaw is fortunate enough to have the funding of Alphabet enabling it to carry out this benevolent research. However, nasty comments and intentionally damaging posts are also a big problem for corporations with a high social media presence.

One company that is looking to solve this issue for businesses is BrandBastion. Much like Jigsaw, this Finnish company is working to provide a service using AI to minimise negative and potentially harmful comments for companies and their social media sites.

Read More: Instagram Partners With AI Platform to Manage, Improve Social Engagements

“There is a lot of great stuff with social media,” explains the CEO, Jenny Wolfram, to Good News Finland. “It enables people to connect, also with the brands that they love. But there is also a dark side.”

“There is a lot of engagement that is not in the best interest of people and fans that are trying to communicate with their brand,” Wolfram explains. “This could be spam, phishing attempts, threats, malware, pornography or free gaming gems being spread.”

Despite its many great offerings, it is true the internet can be a very dark place at times. Internet trolls and their obsession with causing havoc are not likely to disappear anytime soon.

However, using the right technology, we can help curb their impact and influence across the web. As AI becomes smarter and more informed, we can hopefully create a safe space on the internet for people to socialize and exchange ideas, without keyboard warriors in their mum’s basements spitting out insults for personal kicks.

Click to add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Sam is an energetic and passionate writer/blogger, always looking for the next adventure. In August 2016 he donated all of his possessions to charity, quit his job, and left the UK. Since then he has been on the road travelling through North, Central and South America searching for new adventures and amazing stories.

More in Web

latin america tech publication

Fiesta! Latin America’s geekiest tech publication turns 5

Tim HinchliffeOctober 13, 2017

New blockchain-SAP marketplace ushers in ‘second generation of the internet’

Nicolas WaddellOctober 6, 2017
advertising tech

Advertising in a tech-driven world

Boris DzhingarovOctober 6, 2017
blockchain p2p

Web 3.0: using blockchain to build a P2P internet

Ben AllenOctober 3, 2017
food waste nigeria

The startup cutting down food waste in Nigeria

Sam Brake GuiaSeptember 28, 2017
data retention

Data retention fails to improve search results: study

Ben AllenSeptember 27, 2017
tech grew up

Tech sector issues: 4 ways big tech grew up this year

Ben AllenSeptember 25, 2017
bodega startup

What mistake did ‘Bodega’ startup make to cause all this anger? perspective

Ben AllenSeptember 15, 2017
fake news

How to put out the fake news wildfire

Zac LavalSeptember 12, 2017