WTVM Editorial 12/11/17: Humans vs. Computers

(WTVM) - There's been a lot of focus lately on how automation and robotics, artificial intelligence, and computer algorithms are already replacing human beings in a wide variety of jobs.

So, it was unusual to hear that Google intends to hire 10,000 people who will review video content for violence on Google's You Tube platform.

It seems too many violent videos aimed at children are slipping past computerized gatekeepers on YouTube.

So now, Google needs human intervention to fix it.

It's refreshing to see Google admitting the obvious: that algorithms designed to weed out bad actors on the internet are not getting the job done alone.

As Google's CEO put it, "human judgment is critical to making contextualized decisions on content."

What she means is, humans are better than computer programs at judging whether video content your kids can see is too graphic, too violent or too misleading. Humans do the best job of policing the internet.

We think that also proves the value of teaching children and young adults the lost art of critical thinking: how to interpret what they see on a tablet or cellphone in the proper context.

It also proves again the vital need for parents to police what their children are seeing on the internet.

It's great that Google is hiring 10,000 more human content reviewers.

But most of the real responsibility for keeping your kids safe on the internet rests with parents, who need to know what their kids are watching.

Abdicating that responsibility to the internet or the television set is not a winning parenting strategy.

Engaged and aware parents will always be the best internet content reviewers for their own children.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to hsteuart@wtvm.com or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee

1909 Wynnton Road

Columbus, GA 31906

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