Thursday, 15 November, 2018

UK Government Develops Its Own AI That Can Detect Extremist Videos

Britain partners with AI startup to bracket extremist content UK govt unveils multi-platform system to detect terrorist content online
Elsie Buchanan | 15 February, 2018, 07:16

Speaking to the BBC, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said that she hasn't ruled out the possibility of forcing tech companies to use their technology.

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

Ms Rudd is visiting the United States to meet tech companies to discuss the idea, as well as other efforts to tackle extremism.

"They can encourage the companies they invest in to introduce a facility to enable users and authorities to flag terrorist material for removal", Ms Rudd added. However, in simple terms, it is an algorithm that draws on characteristics typical of IS and its online activity. The government says that it can be integrated into the upload tool of any platform, meaning that videos can be blocked before they even make it online.

"It's a very convincing example of the fact that you can have the information you need to make sure this material doesn't go online in the first place", she told the BBC.

"The technology is there".

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The Home Secretary and US Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen visited senior executives from leading venture capital firms, asking them to ensure the start-ups they invested in had taken appropriate anti-terrorist measures.

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.

Asked if the government may force smaller platforms to use the technology Judd said that the government is not ruling out "taking legislative action if we need to do it".

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. Home Office analysis determined that Daesh supporters used more than 400 platforms to push their agenda just in 2017.

The secretary said that past year, all of the five attacks on British soil had an online component.

The government also faces a challenge in predicting which platforms terrorists will turn to next.

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