The artificial intelligence trying to level Twitter’s toxic playing field

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Tech start-up Areto Labs noticed online abuse was stopping women from going into politics – so it did something about it. CEO Lana Cuthbertson and creative technologist Jacqueline Comer talk to The Spinoff about their abuse-fighting bot.“Imagine you have a job interview and every day, for a month, you have to walk down a dark alley, knowing the worst people in the world are in that alley and they will yell and scream at you,” proposes Aucklander Jacqueline Comer, a creative technologist.“If you knew that, you wouldn’t apply for the job. And, unfortunately, that’s what women in politics have to put up with.”Most people in the public eye cop some online criticism, but women get some of the most violent. Men receive their share of abuse, of course, with one study finding the leading subjects of online abuse for men are sexual orientation, religion, and physical or intellectual disability.However, the gendered nature of much abusive language means the worst of it is generally directed at women.To shine a light in the alley way, @ParityBOT_NZ was created. It’s an artificial intelligence designed to combat abuse by recognising abusive tweets and posting positive ones …

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