Artificial intelligence is everywhere nowadays. From livening up the entertainment
the industry with chatbots to helping major cities keep an eye on crime and respond to
emergencies, AI is powering a wholesale revolution of the way we use technology.
It might seem like all people have left to do is sit back and watch as the bots take over.
What you might not expect, however, is that the proliferation of machine learning proves
that there are some areas where human intervention is more vital than ever. Nowhere is
this better illustrated than in the moderation of user-generated content, and companies
like WebPurify offer shining examples of why humans and AI must work together.
Understanding Where Humanity Stands With AI
Why can’t AI whisk us off to some bold new technological wonderland where nobody
must lift a finger? Technology that thinks for itself may be surprising, but it has a long
way to go before it can outpace humans consistently — At this stage, smart systems
still, lack the vital refinements they need to solve complex problems independently.
This development lag makes sense when you recall that personal computers have only
been widely available since the early 1980s. Although the turn of the century saw an
the explosion of computing hardware in the settling into place.
form of smart devices and embedded systems, the technological foundations for active
machine learning is still
Cloud computing, which facilitates the pooling of resources to leverage higher
processing power than a single computer could bring to bear alone, has only just begun
hitting its stride — The vast majority of AI developers lack access to supercomputers, so
the hardware needed to forge ahead wasn’t available until very recently.
AI and User-generated Content
The slow pace of AI’s development stands in stark contrast to the blinding swiftness with which the internet became integral to our everyday lives. While machine learning has
evolved at a limited speed and been restricted to a relatively small number of domains,
humans have had a cultural free-for-all in terms of the way they express themselves
online. From memes to internet slang that can circle the planet in seconds, the
information landscape is mutating at an astounding rate.
Such dynamism makes content moderation extremely hard for general AI to tackle.
Machine learning typically involves creating an algorithm that can learn from the inputs
that it receives — By feeding your program a host of stimuli, you enhance its ability to
recognize patterns. The main weakness of this approach is that if the data doesn’t
include any identifiable trends, then the AI isn’t going to learn very much.
When it comes to images and similar user-generated content, there’s little rhyme or
reason. For instance, with text, you can recognize bad words or offensive language by
looking at the contextual clues and other people’s reactions. With an image, however, a malicious user might create an entirely new way to attack or hurt someone else. AI
image moderation programs have limited scope, so they suffer from being unable to
account for the broader signals that might indicate something is wrong.
Putting Humans and AI Together
Companies like WebPurify sidestep these deficiencies by employing live content
moderators in conjunction with AI systems. For more than ten years, the firm has led the
way in making moderation more impactful for brands that would prefer to keep their web
presences as clean as possible.
The concept of combining AI with human insights has its roots in programming best
practices. For instance, developers who want to hone their algorithms give their
programs feedback on whether they’re performing correctly — Having people work
alongside content moderation software is a similarly well-advised idea.
It’s also worth considering that AI systems are only good at doing a few things. When
your branding depends on everything from the topic of comment discussions to the tone
users take in your forums, it can be hard for machines to keep track of it all. Humans
provide the context that helps the software find connections in data that might not seem
Will AI-based image moderation ever reach the point where it doesn’t need a human
finger on the scales? It’s almost sure that digital intelligence will power the content
moderation of tomorrow, but today’s brand managers still need hybrid systems to
oversee user-generated content successfully and cost-effectively.