CaliberAI raises €600,000 to bring AI to content moderation

11 Jan 2021

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The start-up, founded by former Irish Times editor Conor Brady and his son Neil, will use the funds to refine its AI tech.

CaliberAI, an Irish start-up building artificial intelligence tools to identify harmful content, has raised €600,000.

The start-up was founded by former Irish Times editor Conor Brady and his son Neil Brady, and is looking to use machine learning to spot hate speech, defamation and objectionable content online.

Half of the funding is from Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Up programme, with the other half coming from angel investors.

The start-up told the Business Post that this funding would give it a two-year runway to further develop the product while gathering some early customers. It is in discussions with major publishers such as The Guardian and the Financial Times.

Its machine learning algorithms rummage through swathes of online content and comments sections to pluck out posts that may be harmful or defamatory.

It comes at a time when the need for content moderation is intensifying among online publishers, social media sites and other digital platforms.

Stricter regulations for online content may also be around the corner. Late last year, the EU presented its Digital Services Act that, if passed, will introduce new obligations on publishers and social media giants in terms of content moderation.

Following last week’s attack on the Capitol in Washington DC, social media and online forums have once again come under intense scrutiny over allowing hate speech to fester on their platforms.

CaliberAI developed its minimum viable product late last year and its algorithms currently under development are honing in on specific topics such as terrorism, racism and sexism.

Neil Brady previously told that CaliberAI’s tech will work much like a browser extension like Grammarly.

“It warns a user when something with a high risk of being defamatory or hateful has been typed, prompting she or he to think before publishing.”

CaliberAI is not the only tech company applying AI to online content. Irish start-up Kinzen, founded by Mark Little and Áine Kerr, raised $2m in November as part of its efforts to use a mix of AI and human editors to identify patterns in content.

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin