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Russian officials have announced that a new automated system, based on artificial intelligence, called Oculus will be utilized by the government to search the internet for media that is banned under Russian law, including the so called “LGBT propaganda” and pro-Ukraine statements.
The system will be used by Russia’s federal censorship agency, according to Interfax, a Russian news agency.
The Russian officials detailed that the Oculus “automatically detects violations such as extremism, calls for illegal assemblies, suicide, content that promotes drugs, and LGBT propaganda.” It said it can recognize images and symbols, illegal scenes and actions, and is able to analyze text in photos and videos. Authorities tested Oculus in December and started its integration into existing monitoring systems in January, the statement said.
Prior to that, human operators monitored the internet for banned content, processing on average 106 illegal images and 101 illegal videos per day. By comparison, Oculus is touted as capable of analyzing 200,000 images daily, at a speed of about three seconds per image.
In addition to officially banned information, Russian authorities seek to leverage their online tools to censor negative depictions of the Russian President Vladimir Putin, which have dramatically increased over the last year.
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