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Censoring Porn In China, One AI-Detected Grunt At A Time

china censorship

In China, internet content censors are about to get a new tool for their censorious arsenal: Artificial intelligence which uses voice-recognition technology to identify and block porn. In reading about the AI, Calico noticed it operates by recognizing “pornographic words,” leading her to wonder how much non-porn content the AI may flag. How will it deal with the dialogue in the average Quentin Tarantino film, for example? If someone in China watches a workout video of a guy in a gym who grunts loudly as he pumps iron, will the AI flag it as gay porn?

In fictional settings, AI often gets overloaded and begins to malfunction. Given all the different things they ban, filter and censor in China, could a system overload occur with tragic consequences? What happens if a banned cartoon character is depicted engaging in political dissent and having sex at the same time, for example?

Read all about it in Calico’s latest post, “Censoring Porn In China, One AI-Detected Grunt At A Time.”

by Calico Rudasill, Sssh.com Porn For Women and Couples

Depending on how you view recent developments in artificial intelligence capabilities, you may find AI to be a technology filled with amazing potential, a technology with frightening implications, or some combination of the two.

People are using AI to help them do all sorts of stuff these days, from producing music to predicting earthquake aftershocks, and even to “spot obesity from space.”

Of course, people are also using AI to do things which are way more important than writing music or mitigating earthquake aftershock risks – like identifying and filtering out pornography using a voice-recognition system, for example.

Is That Gay Porn, Or Just Some Loud Guy Working Out?

The voice recognition system in question was made by the AI division of Alibaba, a company that does so many different, far-flung things, I’m starting to think it’s not just working with machine intelligence, but being run by it, as well.

“Helped by the voiceprint recognition method, the Alibaba voice recognition system can identify multiple languages such as Chinese, Japanese, English and Russian, as well as Chinese dialects from different provinces such as Hunan, Hubei, Henan, Sichuan and Guangdong,” according to China Daily.

This sounds great, but how does it go from identifying languages to spotting audial indicators of pornography?

“The lexicon and anti-spam audio models collect tens of thousands of pornographic words with the same or similar pronunciations, Alibaba told Xinhua.”

Hmm. Offhand, this sounds to me sounds like a recipe for a lot of fake positives.

Could the AI tell the difference between the grunts and groans of gay porn and guys who like to let the whole gym know, in no uncertain terms, that they’re working it really, really hard, for example? Since it’s establishing matches based on “pornographic words,” what will it make of the works of Quentin Tarantino?

They Took Our Jobs!

I’m also not sure how I’d feel about all this porn-detecting-by-ear if I were someone in China whose job it is to screen, categorize and enable the blocking of porn. Sure, some of them may be happy to let AI take over the task, but what about those who lack training for other occupations? Does their skill set translate well into another industry, like making sure nobody publishes insults directed at the country’s President for Life, for example? Or can I safely assume machines will be protecting the honor of Xi Jingping, as well as the audial chastity of Chinese web surfers?

Of course, I suppose it’s possible China bans and censors enough different things that its human censors enjoy better job security than I imagine. I can’t imagine this audio-examining AI is very good at spotting depictions of Winnie the Pooh, for example.

What If Winnie The Pooh Criticizes Xi Jingping While Having Sex With Eeyore?

Judging by what I’ve seen in movies and television shows which take up the subject of AI, another major concern is the question of what happens when the system becomes overloaded? In the movies, the answer typically is machines running amok, often by starting nuclear wars and/or using Keanu Reeves like a AA battery.

This being the case, what happens when this porn-detecting AI is confronted with a video in which Winnie the Pooh called Xi Jingping a “tyrant” while pounding Eeyore from behind? Will the system overload, perhaps causing people’s computer monitors and mobile devices to sprout legs, whip out a pair of laser blasters and go on a rampage?

I’m not saying these things will happen, but can we afford to take that chance, just in the interest of Chinese people not being exposed to the sounds of porn?

I’d answer that question, but I’m worried some of the words used in my response might cause my laptop to transform into some sort of menacing alien beach ball.

Calico Rudasil
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Calico Rudasil

Calico Rudasil is a feature columnist for Sssh.com, the web’s original porn site for women by women. With over 16 years’ experience of writing about and for the adult entertainment industry under her belt, Calico qualifies as something of a Web Porn Dinosaur; similar to a tyrannosaurus, only with far more attractive arms and a less pronounced overbite.
Calico’s work has appeared under various pen names in adult industry trade journals and on several mainstream op-ed portals, including the Huffington Post.
Calico Rudasil
Follow Me
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Calico Rudasil

Written by Calico Rudasil

Calico Rudasil is a feature columnist for Sssh.com, the web’s original porn site for women by women. With over 16 years’ experience of writing about and for the adult entertainment industry under her belt, Calico qualifies as something of a Web Porn Dinosaur; similar to a tyrannosaurus, only with far more attractive arms and a less pronounced overbite.
Calico’s work has appeared under various pen names in adult industry trade journals and on several mainstream op-ed portals, including the Huffington Post.

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