Will Google’s Troll-Fighting AI Affect AdWords?

Introducing ‘Perspective’

Earlier this year Google developed a piece of code that is waging war against internet trolls. Perspective, the name for this program is a joint effort between Jigsaw (a Google offshoot company) & Google’s counter abuse technology team. This API has now been opened up for anyone to use which is where we may see some wider reaching effects, specifically within search…

How Could It Affect AdWords?

Perspective analyses any phrase and determines how ‘toxic’ that phrase is. Typing a phrase into the tool will quickly turn up results of its toxicity.

Google API - 4% Toxic

We can live with 4%

The scale of this system is mind-blowing (as is its ability to grow and learn through machine learning) as this AI can cover the entire web. A powerful AI that can purge the web of toxic phrases sounds great? Well, not necessarily. What if this API was absorbed into Google’s search algorithm? If toxicity of certain words/phrases becomes part of a ranking factor, then the whole process behind writing AdWords ads may have a new dimension. Displaying phrases that Google’s AI deems toxic in your PPC ads may affect quality score or even worse, block those particular ads from showing altogether!

Having to omit certain words and phrases from your paid search ads (and websites/other online material for that matter) could mean a much sinister future is on the horizon.

Top tip – might be best to stay away from ‘Hate’ in your ads;

Google API - 'Hate' waiting in line?

The Elephant In The Room

If Perspective is filtering and influencing you to write in a different way, this is a direct attack on your freedom of speech. This AI has the potential to be internet censorship en masse. We could very quickly end up in a vanilla world with the Perspective API policing all content.

Conclusion

Jigsaw & Google’s new machine learning tech ‘should’ ultimately lead to a safer web. However it must come under scrutiny – I dare say the EU will pick through it with a fine tooth comb – otherwise it could become an unstoppable Behemoth censorship tool.

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