Britain partners with AI startup to bracket extremist content

Posted February 15, 2018

According to them, numerous major tech companies have developed technology specific to their own platforms and have publicly reported on the difference this is making in their fight against terrorist content.

The tool, developed with United Kingdom company ASI Data Science at a cost of £600.000, claims to be able to identify 94 per cent of the online activity of Islamic State (IS), with 99 per cent accuracy.

But Home secretary Amber Rudd said that she would not rule out forcing tech companies to use the technology by law in an interview with the BBC. The software successfully detects 94 percent of extremist content, according to the government.

The British government has unveiled a tool that it says can block extremist content on the Internet with reasonable accuracy. 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.

"We're not going to rule out taking legislative action if we need to do it".

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.

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. There are tools out there that can do exactly what we're asking for.

"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. "For smaller companies, this could be ideal".

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

The new tool has been developed for use by smaller platforms who may not have the the resources to develop their own prevention technologies.

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

Separately, new Home Office analysis revealed that ISIS supporters used more than 400 unique online platforms to push out their poisonous material in 2017, highlighting the importance of technology that can be applied across different platforms.