Alphabet's Tune browser extension uses AI to filter out toxic comments

Bottom line: Jigsaw, cousin company of Google, released an experimental version of the Tune Chrome extension, meant to filter out toxic comments from popular websites and social media platforms. The extension, built on the Perspective API, allows users to filter out comments based on their sensitivities.

Trolls beware: Alphabet offshoot Jigsaw is rolling out a new AI for Chrome that will filter out toxic comments.

The tool, dubbed Tune, will allow you to tune out (see what I did there?) nasty comments from sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit. Tune works by allowing users to select different levels of filtering using a virtual knob to block out toxic comments all together (called “zen mode”) or show selective types of posts. The AI can filter out profanity, insults, and racial attacks.

Tune is built on the Perspective API that Jigsaw rolled out in 2017. Perspective allowed third-party developers to integrate their software with the AI, and as a result Tune has a wide range of support at launch. To train Perspective, Jigsaw pointed it at hundreds of thousands of comments deemed toxic by human reviewers. From there, the software looked at other comments and assigned a score based on similarity.

As with all AI, both Tune and the underlying Perspective get smarter every time it’s fed more examples of toxic comments. Among those contributing to the testing was the New York Times, which used it to supplement their comment moderators and cut down on their workloads.

Alphabet's Tune browser extension uses AI to filter out toxic comments 1

Tune doesn’t work with the entire web yet, but it does work on sites that are grappling with the worst forms of toxicity. The plugin will moderate Facebook comments, even allowing users to filter out political content that may be false. YouTube and Reddit are both notorious for their sometimes-toxic comment threads, and Tune will help automatically moderate those as well.

Jigsaw admits that their AI tech is still in its infancy and far from perfect. Tune still sometimes miscategorizes comments as toxic when they aren’t, but with some tinkering it shouldn’t affect your browsing experience too much. No word if Tune will work with online forums for now. Even though we try to keep a clean house here on TechSpot, we rely on a modified version of Xenforo to keep our comments and forums sections. Feel free to install the experimental version and let us know in the comments (nicely) how it works for you.

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