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YouTube removes a chess video because it talks about “black and white”

YouTube removes a chess video because it talks about “black and white”

YouTube removed a video of a chess player, Antonio Radić, because he spoke of the struggle between the pieces “Black and white”In a game of chess. The algorithm for the moderation of hate speech swapped the color of the chess pieces for that of people’s skin, reporting the video. The video was released last year in June but only recently a search of the Carnegie Mellon University revealed the error of Google’s artificial intelligence. And it proved that it is not an isolated case.

YouTube removes a chess video as racist

Antonio Radić. known online as Agadmator, has a YouTube channel with over a million followers. Chess fans, who last June were able to watch a video with the master Hikaru Nakamura. But only for 24 hours, because YouTube removed the clip because the algorithm for stopping hate speech has recognized the talk of “blacks and whites” as dangerous. YouTube restored the video after a while, probably after a control by staff that moderates the platform.

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The limits of the control algorithms

Carnegie Mellon University decided on the basis of this and other incidents to evaluate the effectiveness of software commonly used to moderate video and social platforms. They subjected to analysis 680,000 comments collected by five chess-themed YouTube channels. Among the comments reported by the various software, they checked 1,000.

The result is alarming: 82% contained no reference to hate speech. The combination of words between “white”, “black”, “attack” and “threat” stopped the comments because they were considered racist. This type of research (carried out on a selected and specific but still interesting sample) highlights i limits of control through algorithms. It is evident that artificial intelligence fails to grasp the general context of speech.

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We do not know if this problem can be solved at the software level, by implementing specific rules to understand when we are talking about chess. But it appears as glaring as the human control and the user reports are the most accurate method, although certainly not as fast and pro-active. Freedom of expression and moderation are a complicated reality, on which however it is a duty that social networks continue to invest in search of the best possible solution.

You can find the Agadmator YouTube channel here.