Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Automated Speech Police

Teaching computers to weed out thought crimes.  

There are plenty of reasons to worry about the concept of ‘hate speech’. There are also specific concerns about the notion of Islamophobia, especially in light of controversial recent moves by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims to produce a definition. Both concepts are subjective and hard to pin down. But it gets worse. For around the globe, a cottage industry is springing up, attempting to devise ways to automate the detection of online ‘hate speech’ in general, and of ‘Islamophobia’ in particular.

The aura of scientific objectivity that goes along with the computerised detection of ‘hate’ online is very dangerous. You can’t make a loose and fuzzy idea rigorous by getting complicated algorithms and sophisticated statistical analysis to do your dirty work for you. But you can make it look that way. And worryingly, many of those working to automate ‘hate speech’ detection have direct influence on governments and tech firms.........To Read More....

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