Can artificial intelligence be used to record, predict, and stop interpersonal and social problems in the real world? The Japanese city of Otsu is willing to give the technology a try.
The first trial run of the Artificial Intelligence System, which is being devised by Hitachi Systems Limited, a Tokyo company, is set to begin in April. The system in question will chart every reported case of bullying from the six years leading to 2018 in Otsu’s school system–roughly 9,000 suspected acts of bullying. It will log and categorize details such as the ages and genders of those involved as well as the time and location of the incidents.
According to Otsu’s mayor. Naomi Kushi, the system will assist the school systems in acting “firmly against [bullying] without solely being dependent on teachers’ experience, by having AI theoretically analyze past data.”
The AI will also look at rates of absences and truancies as well as changes in grades within its student body, hopefully finding clues in both sudden and gradual changes.
Sadly, Otsu’s new anti-bullying technology comes too late for one of its victims. In 2011, a 13-year-old boy committed suicide by jumping from his apartment building after being bullied by his peers. In a survey, various students admitted to witnessing kids telling the boy that he should kill himself before his death. It took until 2013 for an investigative panel to conclude that bullying had contributed to his tragic decision.
The two kids found responsible for tormenting the young teen were ordered to pay37 million yen ($334,000) in damages to his mourning family. Otsu’s municipal government also reportedly settled after accepting responsibility.
Shortly after the pivotal ruling the city of Otsu began mandating all school staff members to report any suspected or confirmed incidents of bullying within 24 hours to the local education board.
Still, the new method of collecting data assumes that all bullying cases will be properly reported. Six years later, some activists don’t feel that enough has changed.
Via The Independent