Theresa May to call for more AI to fight online terrorist content

According to the Evening Standard, it is expected today a number of World leaders from Italy, France, and the UK will make demands to internet companies- like Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft - to do more in the fight against online extremism.

The leaders are apparently going to demand that internet companies develop the technological ability to take down extremist content between one and two hours after having been posted, Theresa May is allegedly going to specifically mention that a further development of artificial intelligence in the online fight is needed. The political leaders are giving the companies one month in order to come up with something, apparently, if they do not, then Western governments will be forced to consider legislation that will fine companies that do not act effectively in fighting online terrorism.

On the 20th of October, the interior ministers from G7 nations will meet in Rome and review what has been done, and reach a decision on whether they need to intervene further. The main target that these companies need to try and clamp down on is obviously the Islamic State terror group, who between January and May of this year managed to disseminate 27,000 items through outlets like Twitter.

The content they were able to spread ranged from bomb-making videos, footage glorifying their "caliphate", and calls to go out and conduct vehicle or knife attacks on civilians in Western cities. This content was shared most rapidly within the first two hours of it being posted.

It appears that Facebook, YouTube, and Google are considering the use of automated systems and perhaps AI to identify and block extremist content. Twitter has been able to shut down thousands of suspected terrorist accounts over the last few years, apparently, they have even been able to do so even before some of these accounts were able to post anything.

Facebook has already this week been forced to hand over ads and content that relate to a Senate investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the US elections, and the social media company has also said it will try and protect the integrity of Canadian elections in 2019. Stories like these and the meeting taking place today in New York emphasize that it is very difficult for large tech companies to be able to stay out of political and global affairs.

Source: Evening Standard

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