AI and its ability to protect children on the internet

Introduction to AI and social media

The way how Rene Schuster is handling artificial intelligence teaches us how AI itself can do good things in our world, especially protecting the Vulnerable. In this context, we are talking about our beloved children.

Currently, modern society is under heavy influence by an experiment called Social Media. The increase of young social media users gives criminals the opportunity to establish contact to the children. This happens without the permission of their parents. In this case, the possible threats are obvious. Neither the government, nor the telecommunication companies are putting enough effort into addressing this issue.

Thankfully, Rene Schuster is presenting us a solution. The correct use of AI could be a part of the security for our children. Software tools, provided with AI features, can be used to protect children and restrict the communication with strangers. However, we are facing difficulties, especially in Germany. AI algorithms need to work with large amounts of data, and the data privacy in Germany challenges AI developers working under these laws. There is a simple example. If a tool must filter cyber-bullying, abuse or blackmail, it is going to need large amounts of data to make qualitative decisions. These data can be collected by searching through messages sent and read by children.

Todays parents and their parenting abilities

Therefore, how are we going to protect the children online? The current generation of young parents by a large amount have lived a different childhood than the children today. They don’t have the experience to deal with certain apps, but the children are confronted with the use of apps early-on. This brings us to the difficulties we talked about at the beginning. Rene Schuster tells us that 50% of the children have experienced cyber-bullying, and only 10% of these children inform their parents about it. This is a difficult situation, because it is in their natural behaviour. So how can we help our children without knowing what they are exposed to?

In addition to cyber-bullying, there are more topics that must be addressed. 39% of the teenagers have sent sex-messages and 49% have received one. Almost half of the boys have seen inappropriate images of girls from their schools and 15% of the teenagers have already “sexted” with a stranger. These are frightening numbers that force us to deal with this issue. Why is artificial intelligence praised as a solution?

At the beginning of the article, we discussed that we need a large amount of data, although we are confronted with data protection and privacy laws. We need to find out a way to work with these laws, because we are not allowed to develop software that skips the privacy restrictions.

BA, NLP and Machine Learning

Thankfully, Rene Schuster and his team has found a solution to this difficult challenge. They combined Behavioural Analyses (BA) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) with supervised and unsupervised Machine Learning techniques. Both the Behavioural Analyses and the Machine Learning, combined with the data about the children we already have, we can recognize a pattern and visualize the emotional behaviour of the children.

Identify patterns

According to the picture above, we can see feelings like trust, sadness, joy and the quick change of it. With these data, it is possible to predict the impacts to prevent them. The AI can work as an umbrella for the children and block the internet activities in order to protect them from inappropriate content. On the other side the child will face a red keyboard when behaving inappropriately itself. It signals the child that it must stop the activity, or at least display a warning.

the smart threat detection

In summary, Rene Schuster wants to tell us that we don’t understand the things going on in this early stage. We don’t understand how the children learn and behave on the internet and how they are dealing with dangerous and inappropriate content nowadays. Our goal should be to make sure that our children can profit from the internet to develop creativity and other good characteristics. For that reason, we have to put a shield of protection around them while they exploring the great internet.

Sources / Quellen:

Schuster, Rene: Presentation at Future Online Xperience (FOX) KI Summit 2019, 16.05.2019 in Köln, Deutschland

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