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The rise of the #MeTooBots

Source | www-thehindu-com.cdn.ampproject.org | Divya Kala Bhavani

Sexual harassment and digital bullying are the next targets of Artificial Intelligence bots. How would such a technology fare in India?

When was the last time you received an email from a colleague or supervisor which worried you? One could be hesitant to report it to HR or anyone at all. Before #MeToo around the globe took off, many women said their in-house HR has not been able to ease their discomfort towards sexual harassment and bullying in the workplace.

That said, Artificial Intelligence programmers at Chicago-based NexLP are developing #MeTooBots which will scan official communications for inappropriate vernacular. The technology is hoped to be adopted globally. So, how would the Indian corporate scene respond?

What experts say

Mumbai-based Beerud Sheth, co-founder of Gupshup and founder of Elance, is credited with bringing in a new wave to India’s bot revolution. But even he knows that such a technology cannot be implemented and effective in impact overnight, but he believes that AI will gradually become more effective in handling many sensitive issues. He explains this space requires training for both humans and the AI, adding that any issue that the bot cannot handle, it can escalate to a human. “Over time, it can take on more responsibility,” he says, “Also, bots can harness vast computing power to do a first review of millions of emails that is not humanly possible.”

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