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United Kingdom government reveals new AI tool for flagging extremist content

15 February 2018

In order to talk about the tool with technology firms, the home secretary has embarked on a trip to the United States in an attempt to fight extremism with the new innovation along with other methods. Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the government may even make tech companies use it by law.

Announcing the new technology, home secretary Amber Rudd said it would help to "heavily disrupt the terrorists' actions" and also prevent people's exposure to "horrific images".

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.

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

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

Rudd is on a two-day visit to San francisco meeting with tech giants and US officials to discuss how to better combat extremists on Internet platforms. "So we're very keen that the tool is used as widely as possible". 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 system is to be made available to smaller companies, as the government says that these are increasingly being targeted by extremists to publish propaganda.

The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, launched past year, brings together several governments including the U.S. and United Kingdom, and major internet firms like Facebook, Google, Twitter and others.

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

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.

However, the bigger challenge is predicting which parts of the internet the terrorists will use next.

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United Kingdom government reveals new AI tool for flagging extremist content