Typos Fool Google AI Troll-Hunter


Online trolls are the scourge of the internet. There are tens of thousands of people online who hide behind a cloak of anonymity whilst posting their vile comments. Trolls, as they are known, cause outrage, hurt, and horror in equal measures.

It is easy to spot a troll by their offensive comments, but it isn’t so easy to stop them. When unmasked, trolls often turn out to be sad loners with few friends. Unfortunately, it takes time and effort to track down the person behind the offensive online bile, and since the law doesn’t always take the problem seriously, many continue with fear of reprisals.

Tackling the Online Troll Problem

Google, or rather it’s spin-off company, Jigsaw, is trying to tackle the problem of online trolls. Researchers are developing a new AI tool to track down trolls. The AI prototype looks for keywords such as “stupid” and scores comments using a Toxicity score based on the perceived impact they might have. However, it seems the AI prototype is very easily fooled.

Simple typos allow troll comments to slip through the net. The tool was 90% successful when toxic comments were spelt perfectly, but as soon as creative typos snuck in, its success rates fell to around 15%. There were also false positives, too, which suggest the researchers still have a lot of work to do.

Technological Advancements in the Online World

This research study may not have been as successful as Jigsaw hoped, but its early days yet and this type of technology offers hope to the millions of people victimized by online trolls. It’s also an exciting development in the world of artificial intelligence.

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Google Uses AI to Spot Online Patterns

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