Sometimes all you need is a change in perspective.
Google recently released a new tool called Perspective that helps assess abusive language in the internet. Created by Jigsaw, a technology incubator at Google’s parent company Alphabet, Perspective monitors conversations in the internet and rates their toxicity level from “very healthy” to “very toxic.”
Due to the rampant harassment and trolling on the internet, The New York Times, The Guardian, The Economist, and even Wikipedia have partnered with Google to experiment and improve the tool.
We tested Perspective by typing tweets from US President Donald Trump, Jimmy Fallon, and two randomly selected individuals to check their toxicity level:
Out of the four tweets, US President’s Donald Trump’s tweet got the lowest toxicity level!
We think Google needs to tweak this tool a bit more.
This satirical tweet about Sara Duterte’s baby, Stonefish, received a higher toxicity level than Trump’s! We do find that a bit fishy… hmm.
What is more surprising was that Jimmy Fallon’s tweet about M&M’s rated more toxic than the first two! Uh-oh!
The last tweet from a random person got the highest toxicity level. We didn’t know that being optimistic these days is considered toxic (though it’s probably because of that one nicely placed F-word).
These varying results demonstrate that Perspective still needs to be improved in order to accurately rank conversations as toxic or healthy in the same way humans would interpret them. If you check their official website, there is a section that features user comments filtered by toxicity level. You can use the slider to see everything, including the most toxic comments:
Google’s newest tool offers a new perspective in internet communication. Perhaps it can aid not only in eradicating online harassment, but also for people to understand each other’s differences in the best way possible.
We’ll just have to wait and see then.