Innovation

YouTube has secret AI working to 'clean' videos on the home page

May 27, 2019 | 65 views

Have you ever encountered extremist videos, loaded with fake information or are clearly a "click-hunter" on the YouTube homepage? Probably so, but that means that a newly discovered artificial intelligence was not doing its job well.

The Bloomberg website got information from various sources and found that Google has had a "bad video sorter" AI for years on the site and the service app. Her job is to clear that section as quickly as possible, preventing new visitors from coming into contact with toxic, harmful or even illegal materials. Technically, even those videos should not be posted, but since this filter is usually circumvented, YouTube works at least to push the dirt under the rug.

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The system was never mentioned and was confirmed by Google as a way to "attract and keep the audience on YouTube homepage," which also means more visibility for advertisers in the new advertising formats adopted by the company.

It even works, but only when you need it.
This AI was tested for the first time in 2015, but only became more active after a scandal in 2017: YouTube Kids was "letting go" inappropriate videos, high in violence and even sexual content, several of them involving character Elsa, from "Frozen: A Freezing Adventure".

Sources heard by Bloomberg went beyond criticism: such a rating would only be effective during emergencies involving advertisers, such as Elsa and extremist videos. In addition, the amount of false positives is still high, which can generate injustice with videos that have nothing illegal, but for some reason fell into the trained filter of artificial intelligence.

Google says there is a lot of room for improvement, but relies on that automated rating to help deal with the high amount of videos stored every time on the site - and not to move away from brands, especially.