The UK government’s pressure on tech giants to do more about online extremism just got weaponized. The Home Secretary has today announced a machine learning tool, developed with public money by a local AI firm, which the government says can automatically detect propaganda produced by the Islamic State terror group with “an extremely high degree of accuracy”.
The technology is billed as working across different types of video-streaming and download platforms in real-time, and is intended to be integrated into the upload process — as the government wants the majority of video propaganda to be blocked before it’s uploaded to the Internet.
So yes this is content moderation via pre-filtering — which is something the European Commission has also been pushing for. Though it’s a highly controversial approach, with plenty of critics. Supporters of free speech frequently describe the concept as ‘censorship machines’, for instance.
Last fall the UK government said it…