Press Release: Irish Content Moderation Startup CaliberAI Signs Contract With Mediahuis Ireland
19th November 2021
CaliberAI, the Irish company that uses artificial intelligence to provide pre-publication warning of potentially defamatory or harmful content, has signed a contract to supply its technology to Mediahuis Ireland.
CaliberAI CEO and Co-Founder, Neil Brady, described it as “an important early step in bringing the power of artificial intelligence to the work of editors and journalists striving for the highest of standards, both in editorial content and construction of AI technology. We’re delighted to be working with new partners who share these values.”
CaliberAI was founded almost two years ago by Brady, who has formerly worked at The Guardian and Storyful. Conor Brady, a journalist and former Editor of The Irish Times, with a background in policing and security, is Co-Founder. Paul Watson, also formerly of Storyful, is Chief Technology Officer.
CaliberAI is a Trinity College Dublin ‘spinout’ that prototyped its technology through The ADAPT Centre there, with initial funding provided through Enterprise Ireland’s (EI) Commercialisation Fund. In late 2020 it completed a successful seed round, just under half of which was provided through EI’s High Potential Start Up (HPSU) fund.
CaliberAI’s technology uses a unique, proprietary dataset, assembled by an internationally-based team of editors, developers, lawyers and linguists, that mitigates risk of publication of potentially defamatory or harmful text. It is provided through an API and can be deployed in a variety of forms, including a browser extension as well as integrations such as a website, email or CMS. The leadership team is supported by an Advisory Panel that includes former Editor of The Guardian, Alan Rusbridger and former President of The British Academy, Baroness Onora O’Neill. “CaliberAI’s tech is a product of many disciplines”, said Brady, “but the common denominator is our team’s expertise in ethical decision-making and high-quality news publishing. We offer solutions across two areas - defamation and harm-speech (hate-speech) - but, in reality, it’s often the nebulous space in between the two that can do more damage, and prove equally costly to media companies.”
“Our tech isn’t designed to replace editors”, said Brady, “but to assist them. It’s an aid to better decision-making, like lane-assist on modern cars.”
While CaliberAI’s most obvious application is to traditional news publishers, as policymakers around the world seek to impose liability for internet publishing, its potential customer base extends to include many others involved in the public conversation, and social media companies in particular.
“The regulatory regime is in the process of becoming a lot more demanding”, said Brady. “Recent court judgements in Australia, as well as pending cases and forthcoming legislation in The United States and elsewhere confirm this. Publication of content on social media is going to have consequences. We can see this in the ongoing debate on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act in the US, as well as The Digital Services (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA) in the EU.”
In October, following the testimony of ex-Facebook employee turned whistleblower, Frances Haugen, leaders of the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce introduced the Justice Against Malicious Algorithms Act (JAMA). In a landmark departure, JAMA proposes liability provisions for recommendation engines that contribute to “severe emotional injury.”
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