It's no secret that video platform YouTube's single largest challenge is keeping a fair balance between a strict, authoritarian hold on the kind of content that can be served and monetized, and allowing creators the freedom to fill the service with the kind of content it needs, but it seems like the service may be on its way to a definitive solution for that issue. YouTube has reportedly set its sights on further improving its algorithmic community enforcement programs, enhanced with machine learning, by bringing in more human talent to help filter content. For the time being, all content that will go on Google's Preferred Partner program is hand-filtered, and YouTube has a help desk of sorts that's designed to help get human eyes on bad content before it goes live.
The details of the plan are deceptively simple. YouTube's algorithm in its current form is sufficient to run about 75% of the moderation that currently happens on the service. The AI is largely able to judge content that's overtly in violation of community standards, but more apparently sensible or well-hidden bad content, such as the infamous Logan Paul video in Japan's Aokigahara forest, can slip through the system. Such content would not, of course, get by a human reviewer. It is YouTube's hope that by watching how human reviewers do their jobs, the algorithm will be able to pick up on the cultural, societal and very human norms that serve as a moral compass for the reviewers.
This, of course, is only a rough overview of how the team hopes things will work out. As with anything in the field of AI, especially when humans' emotional and moral sensibilities are involved, things are bound to get at least a little bit messy in some way. AI, especially at higher levels, can be prone to all sorts of strange and unexpected issues. YouTube has faced down a range of crises in the past couple of years, most of which have been brought on by the simple fact that an AI cannot match human sensibilities in a moderation task. If YouTube can pull this off, its moderation troubles may finally be over, though it will certainly take some time.