One of the most heavily censored countries in the world, Russia, has introduced an AI system designed to monitor photos and videos on the internet and flag if it fits them illegally. Brainchild of the Main Radio Frequency Centre of the Russian federal censorship agency Roskomnadzor, the Ai is touted to scan through 200,000 pieces of photos and videos every day.
According to the reports, Russia blocked 100,000 resources in 2022. It has reported a steep growth in material violating Russian laws such as in the matters of gambling, LGBTQ, the Ukraine War, and so on. Russia has always been a repressive country monitoring every move of its citizens on the internet and with the AI system in place, it can monitor with greater efficiency.
The AI system dubbed Oculus has been in the works since September 2021 with the first tests conducted in December 2022. Since then, it has been working towards blocking materials including photos, videos, and graphics that violate Russian laws. Some of the subjects include suicides, illegal assemblies, extremism, LGBTQ propoganda, drugs, and even graphics that are skewed to show President Putin.
Russia invested approx $780,000 to develop the system in September 2021. The developers are destined to improve its performance by 2025 although it is already in full force at the time of writing this.
The repressive and censored internet has forced Russians and those visiting the country to use VPNs to hide from the network and steer clear of being monitored. Before Oculus was in use, the employees at the agency would manually go through materials to flag if they were violating any laws or not.
The AI system allows opting for a comprehensive search on the internet that ensures more resources are censored. The agency is tasked to identify points of information tension that would provoke the citizens and take action accordingly.
Apart from the ones mentioned above, the agency monitors fake news concerning the country, the state, and major officials, replacements of traditional values, public opinion polarization, and manipulations in any shape or form. In fact, there are 100+ topics that the system is tasked with keeping away from the users on the internet.
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