How Coronavirus Forces Internet Companies To Rely More Heavily On AI To Get Jobs Done

COVID-19 - social disntancing

The Wuhan COVID-19 coronavirus has taken the world by storm, and leaving many in fear.

To prevent the spread of the pandemic, governments around the world have urged social distancing. As a result, more people work from home, meaning that work efficiency won't be as good as it used to. Fortunately for tech companies, they can have some sorts of Artificial Intelligence to help them with the job.

But unfortunately, AI can make certain mistakes that its human counterpart may not.

Platforms are asking users to bear with them while acknowledging that their automated technology will probably make some mistakes.

Google for example, has put up a text notification, saying that:

"As a precautionary health measure for our support specialists in light of COVID-19, we're operating with a limited team. Thanks for your patience, as it may take longer than usual to connect with us."

Tech companies rely on both humans and machines to get work done.

AI does most of the hard work of scanning and looking for harmful contents. Whenever it sees one that it couldn't solve by itself, it will send the information to a human reviewer for assessment.

With the coronavirus spreading to even the most remote places, new measures should take place.

Some tech giants start relying more on technology and AI to help with some of the work normally done by human reviewers.

"This means automated systems will start removing some content without human review," YouTube said blog post.

"As the coronavirus response evolves, we are taking the steps needed to prioritize the well-being of our employees, our extended workforce, and the communities where they live, including reducing in-office staffing in certain sites."

"As we do this, users and creators may see increased video removals, including some videos that may not violate policies. We won’t issue strikes on this content except in cases where we have high confidence that it’s violative. If creators think that their content was removed in error, they can appeal the decision and our teams will take a look. However, note that our workforce precautions will also result in delayed appeal reviews. We’ll also be more cautious about what content gets promoted, including livestreams. In some cases, unreviewed content may not be available via search, on the homepage, or in recommendations."

Humans - AIs

Similarly, Twitter said that the platform is increasingly relying on automation and machine learning to remove “abusive and manipulated content.”

“We want to be clear: while we work to ensure our systems are consistent, they can sometimes lack the context that our teams bring, and this may result in us making mistakes,” the company wrote in a blog post.

Because the company acknowledged that AI is no replacement for human moderators, Twitter said that it won't permanently suspend any account “based solely on our automated enforcement systems.”

Facebook on the other hand, is exploring remote content review for some of its moderators on a temporary basis, and said that it is working with its partners to send its content moderators home and to ensure that they’re paid.

“We don’t expect this to impact people using our platform in any noticeable way,” wrote the company in a statement. “That said, there may be some limitations to this approach and we may see some longer response times and make more mistakes as a result.”

Keeping People Safe

Social media in using AIs to review content that potentially violates their policies, can be too harsh that the contents are more likely be taken down in error.

Because there are less human employees working behind the desk at the office, tech companies are encouraging users to be more vigilant about reporting potential mistakes.

The move toward AI moderation doesn't come as a surprise.

For years, tech companies have pushed automated tools, and boasted their capabilities that improve with time. And with moments like this COVID-19 pandemic, businesses shall continue with the help of machines.

What users should at least understand is that, no AI at this time is as good as a human reviewer.

While many businesses struggle, there are other kinds of businesses that thrive from people working at home.

For example, the online adult entertainment industry has seen a surge in visitors due to the coronavirus.