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Government deploys AI in war on pornography

July 23,2019
The Ministry of Science and ICT and the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family have started using artificial intelligence to monitor and delete online pornography from Monday.

The AI technology was codeveloped by the two ministries and the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute as part of efforts to support people who have been filmed without their knowledge or videos of them shared without their consent online. The AI system has been launched on a trial run.

Until now, employees at the Digital Sexual Crime Victim Support Center, established under the Women’s Human Rights Institute of Korea, had to manually search and delete illegal content from online storage sites. This process has been too slow to be effective in helping victims.

All forms of pornography are illegal in Korea.

The new AI technology can extract images from reported videos or other content and automatically compare them with content uploaded on 10 different storage sites, according to the ministries. This way, employees need only confirm whether the content is problematic and ask the website operator to delete it.

By the end of this year, the AI will be able to search through 35 additional online storage sites, the ministries said, adding up to a total of 45 sites.

An official from the Gender Equality Ministry said that putting the AI technology in practice would greatly reduce the time taken to spot pornography as the technology can run 24 hours a day, all year round.

BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]