Bumble launching AI to automatically block lewd images

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Bumble blocks lewd pics via AI

The dating app Bumble is set to unveil new artificial intelligence (AI) that will automatically block lewd images sent through its messaging service. According to Bumble’s parent company Badoo, the new AI has a 98 percent recognition rate. It will roll out across all their dating apps—Bumble, Badoo, Chappy, and Lumen—in June.

End of the Unsolicited D**k Pic

Co-founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd, former VP of Marketing for Tinder, Bumble has always positioned itself as a more female-friendly dating app. Unlike Tinder, only women can initiate messaging following a match. The new feature, dubbed the Private Detector, keeps with her company’s long-standing mission of “making an internet that was friendlier to women.”

“The digital world can be a very unsafe place overrun with lewd, hateful, and inappropriate behavior,” Wolfe Herd said in a statement announcing Private Detector, according to FastCompany. “There’s limited accountability, making it difficult to deter people from engaging in poor behavior.”

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The problem is widespread. According to a 2017 survey, more than half of all millennial women have received a naked photo of a man. Of those, over 75 percent of women said the picture was unsolicited.

AI Already in Use

According to CNN, Bumble employs 5,000 content moderators who sift through 10 million photos uploaded daily by the app’s 55 million global users. Like Facebook, the company built internal AI that helps it flag inappropriate content. Beyond lewd images, Bumble also bans indoor swimwear pics, photos featuring underwear, and images of guns.

Bumble is already using AI to identify images featuring guns and other hate material.

“We can detect anything: guns, apples, snakes, you name it,” Bumble co-founder Andrey Andreev said, according to Inc. Andreev also noted that Private Detector will work on images of both men and women.

Stopping Harassment IRL

Bumble’s commitment to making the dating world safer extends beyond their app. Wolfe Herd also urged the legislature in Texas—where Bumble is based—to adopt legal solutions. A bill that would criminalize the non consensual sharing of explicit material passed in the Texas House earlier this week.

“If indecent exposure is a crime on the streets, then why is it not on your phone or your computer?” Wolfe Herd asked when testifying in support of the bill. “We want the standards of acceptable behavior online to match those in real life.”

Ultimately, Bumble sees their new feature as just one weapon in an arsenal meant to combat unwanted advances toward women.

“Private Detector is not some ‘2019 idea’ that’s a response to some other tech company or a pop culture idea,” Wolfe Herd said according to Inc. “It’s something that’s been important to our company from the beginning—and is just one piece of how we keep our users safe and secure.”