YouTube is warning that some users’ videos may be improperly flagged due to the company relying on artificial intelligence (AI) to moderate videos.
With more and more employees working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, YouTube is turning to AI and machine learning (ML) to make up for the shortage of human moderators. Unfortunately, AI and ML doesn’t always get it right and YouTube is warning that—in an attempt to keep violative content in check—some videos may be removed without actually violating policies.
“Our Community Guidelines enforcement today is based on a combination of people and technology: Machine learning helps detect potentially harmful content and then sends it to human reviewers for assessment,” the blog post reads. “As a result of the new measures we’re taking, we will temporarily start relying more on technology to help with some of the work normally done by reviewers. This means automated systems will start removing some content without human review, so we can continue to act quickly to remove violative content and protect our ecosystem, while we have workplace protections in place.”
Recognizing the potential inconvenience the situation will cause, YouTube will not be quick to issue “strikes” for removed content, and recommends users appeal any decision they believe was made in error.
“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.”
This is just another example of the pandemic’s far-reaching effects, as well as the increasing role AI and ML can play in a variety of situations.