UK unveils extremism blocking tool

Britain partners with AI startup to bracket extremist content

UK Government Shows Off AI Tool For Extremist Video Takedown

The government in the United Kingdom has publicised its plans to roll out a tool that will be used in the detection of jihadist and extremist content, blocking it from being viewed. Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the government may even make tech companies use it by law.

The technology works by analyzing video content during the upload process, preventing it from reaching the internet in the first place - a vast improvement on the average 36 hours it takes tech firms to remove extremist content, and an improvement still on the two-hour-limit the United Kingdom government demanded past year. The UK government claims the tool is able to detect 94pc of ISIS-related propaganda with 99.9pc accuracy.

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

"We're not going to rule out taking legislative action if we need to do it", the home secretary said. Using advanced machine learning, it analyses the audio and visuals of a video to determine whether it could be ISIL propaganda. There are tools out there that can do exactly what we're asking for.

The news comes as Rudd is in the USA to meet with tech giants to discuss ways of working to collaboratively counteract the emergence of online extremist content. "For smaller companies, this could be ideal". While tech giants have been developing their own technology to tackle the problem, smaller platforms are increasingly targeted by ISIL and often do not have the same level of resources to develop technology. Even with a high degree of accuracy, critics say, there could be a lot of false positive when used with a major distributor of video content.

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

She discussed the new anti-terror tool on her visit during talks with internet service providers in the country as part of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, which was launched a year ago in the aftermath of the UK Parliament attack in March 2017.

"The tool can be used by any platform, and integrated into the upload process, so that the majority of video propaganda is stopped before it ever reaches the Internet", the Home Office added in a statement.

Latest News