Microsoft acquires AI-powered moderation platform Two Hat


Microsoft at the moment introduced that it acquired Two Hat, an AI-powered content material moderation platform, for an undisclosed quantity. According to Xbox product providers CVP Dave McCarthy, the acquisition will mix the know-how, analysis capabilities, groups, and cloud infrastructure of each corporations to serve Two Hat’s present and new clients and “a number of product and repair experiences: at Microsoft.

“Working with the diverse and experienced team at Two Hat over the years, it has become clear that we are fully aligned with the core values inspired by the vision of founder, Chris c, to deliver a holistic approach for positive and thriving online communities,” McCarthy stated in a weblog submit. “For the past few years, Microsoft and Two Hat have worked together to implement proactive moderation technology into gaming and non-gaming experiences to detect and remove harmful content before it ever reaches members of our communities.”

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According to the Pew Research Center, 4 in 10 Americans have personally skilled some type of on-line harassment. Moreover, 37% of U.S.-based web users say they’ve been the goal of extreme assaults — together with sexual harassment and stalking — based mostly on their sexual orientation, faith, race, ethnicity, gender identification, or incapacity. Children, specifically, are the topic of on-line abuse, with one survey discovering a 70% improve in cyberbullying on social media and gaming platforms throughout the pandemic.

Priebe based Two Hat in 2012 when he left his place as a senior app safety specialist at Disney Interactive, Disney’s sport improvement division. A former lead developer on the security and safety staff for Club Penguin, Priebe was pushed by a want to deal with the problems of cyberbullying and harassment on the social net.

Today, Two Hat claims its content material moderation platform — which mixes AI, linguistics, and “industry-leading management best practices” — classifies, filters, and escalates greater than a trillion human interactions together with messages, usernames, photos, and movies a month. The firm additionally works with Canadian regulation enforcement to coach AI to detect new little one exploitative materials, corresponding to content material prone to be pornographic.

“With an emphasis on surfacing online harms including cyberbullying, abuse, hate speech, violent threats, and child exploitation, we enable clients across a variety of social networks across the globe to foster safe and healthy user experiences for all ages,” Two Hat writes on its web site.

Microsoft partnership

Several years in the past, Two Hat partnered with Microsoft’s Xbox staff to use its moderation know-how to communities in Xbox, Minecraft, and MSN. Two Hat’s platform permits customers to determine the content material they’re snug seeing — and what they aren’t — which Priebe believes is a key differentiator in contrast with AI-powered moderation options like Sentropy and Jigsaw Labs’ Perspective API.

“We created one of the most adaptive, responsive, comprehensive community management solutions available and found exciting ways to combine the best technology with unique insights,” Priebe stated in a press release. “As a result, we’re now entrusted with aiding online interactions for many of the world’s largest communities.”

It’s price noting that semi-automated moderation stays an unsolved problem. Last yr, researchers confirmed that Perceive, a software developed by Google and its subsidiary Jigsaw, usually labeled on-line feedback written within the African American vernacular as poisonous. A separate research revealed that dangerous grammar and awkward spelling — like “Ihateyou love,” as an alternative of “I hate you,” — make poisonous content material far harder for AI and machine detectors to identify.

As evidenced by competitions just like the Fake News Challenge and Facebook’s Hateful Memes Challenge, machine studying algorithms additionally nonetheless battle to realize a holistic understanding of phrases in context. Revealingly, Facebook admitted that it hasn’t been capable of prepare a mannequin to seek out new cases of a selected class of disinformation: deceptive information about COVID-19. And Instagram’s automated moderation system as soon as disabled Black members 50% extra usually than white customers.

But McCarthy expressed confidence within the energy of Two Hat’s product, which features a person repute system, helps 20 languages, and might mechanically droop, ban, and mute probably abusive members of communities.

“We understand the complex challenges organizations face today when striving to effectively moderate online communities. In our ever-changing digital world, there is an urgent need for moderation solutions that can manage online content in an effective and scalable way,” he stated. “We’ve witnessed the impact they’ve had within Xbox, and we are thrilled that this acquisition will further accelerate our first-party content moderation solutions across gaming, within a broad range of Microsoft consumer services, and to build greater opportunity for our third-party partners and Two Hat’s existing clients’ use of these solutions.”


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