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Main » UK Government Develops Its Own AI That Can Detect Extremist Videos

UK Government Develops Its Own AI That Can Detect Extremist Videos

15 February 2018

Although major tech companies are developing their own tools to detect extremist content, Home Secretary Amber Rudd told the BBC that she has not dismissed passing law to make companies use the government's software.

Britain's Home Secretary Amber Rudd, now visiting the Silicon Valley, announced United Kingdom's partnership with a London-based startup to develop an algorithm which will be used to identify terrorist content on the Internet. This is versus the 36 hours or so which is apparently the average time it takes for tech firms to remove such content, which by then would have easily spread to hundreds, if not thousands of viewers. "Because we know that terrorist content isn't just a problem for the Facebooks and Googles of this world, but for smaller platforms too", Ms Rudd said.

In Silicon Valley, the home secretary told the BBC the tool was made as a way to demonstrate that the government's demand for a clampdown on extremist activity was not unreasonable.

"This government has been taking the lead worldwide in making sure that vile terrorist content is stamped out," she said.

The technology in question was created by the Home Office and ASI Data Science and uses machine learning artificial intelligence to analyse audio and video and determine whether it contains any extremist content.

The company said it typically flagged 0.005% of non-IS video uploads. "This has to be in conjunction, though, of larger companies working with smaller companies".

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

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 plans would allow Britain to become "the global leader in the regulation of the use of personal data and the internet", the manifesto claimed, and ensure there is no "safe space for terrorists to be able to communicate online". New Home Office research shows that 145 new platforms from July until the end of 2017 had not been used for terrorist content before.

UK Government Develops Its Own AI That Can Detect Extremist Videos