Can Bots Fight Bullying?

Photo Credit Issei Kato/Reuters If a teenager gets bullied on social media, it’s usually up to her to report the incident. But one day, an automated tool might spot the harassment, ask her if she needs help, tell a moderator to step in on her behalf or notify her parents. While rudimentary filters for bad language have existed for years, tech companies and others are experimenting with tools that use machine learning, crunching through huge numbers of online interactions to “train” themselves to identify bullying. The Google subsidiary Jigsaw has developed a tool called Conversation AI, which uses machine learning to identify harassment. Jigsaw trained the tool with the help of institutions, including The New York Times, which provided 17 million reader comments from The Times’s website along with decisions…


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