Meet YouTube’s Hidden Laborers Toiling to Keep Ads Off Hateful Videos
Taken together, the scope of the work and nuance required in assessing videos shows Google still needs human help in dealing with YouTube’s ad problems. “We have many sources of information, but one of our most important sources is people like you,” Google tells raters in a document describing the purpose of their ad-rating work. But while only machine intelligence can grapple with YouTube’s scale, as company execs and representatives have stressed again and again, until Google’s machines—or anyone else’s—get smart enough to distinguish, say, truly offensive speech from other forms of expression on its own, such efforts will still need to rely on people.
“We have always relied on a combination of technology and human reviews to analyze content that has been flagged to us because understanding context in video can be subjective,” says Chi Hea Cho, a spokesperson for Google. “Recently we added more people to accelerate the reviews. These reviews help train our algorithms so they keep improving over time.”