IOC to Use AI to Block Abusive Social Media Posts at Paris Olympics

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  • Ai
  • June 14, 2024
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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced it will utilize artificial intelligence (AI) to prevent social media abuse targeting 15,000 athletes and officials during the Paris Olympics next month, as stated by President Thomas Bach on Friday.

The Games, taking place amid ongoing conflicts such as the Russia-Ukraine war and the Hamas-Israel conflict in Gaza, have already seen instances of social media abuse related to these events.

Starting July 26, over 10,500 athletes will compete in 32 sports, with the event expected to generate over half a billion social media engagements throughout its 16-day duration, according to the IOC.

“The IOC will leverage AI in various capacities at Paris,” Bach mentioned in a press conference.

“One primary use is safeguarding. Given the anticipated volume of social media activity—half a billion posts—it’s impractical for humans to monitor each one. Instead, we’ll deploy an AI safeguarding tool to protect athletes from cyberabuse. This AI will monitor posts in real-time, automatically removing abusive content to shield athletes,” he explained.

Although Russian and Belarusian athletes are barred from competing under their national flags, they will participate as neutral athletes, a decision that has upset Moscow.

The AI measures will address all types of abuse, not limited to political attacks. However, the IOC did not specify the level of account access required from the athletes.

MORE: Places the U.S. Government Warns Not to Travel Right Now

Bach also commented on the political climate in France, including the snap parliamentary elections scheduled shortly before the Olympics, affirming that these developments would not affect the preparations or the Games themselves.

“We are not concerned,” Bach stated. “Both the government and the opposition are determined to showcase France at its best during the Olympic Games.”

French President Emmanuel Macron called a snap parliamentary election for the end of the month after the anti-immigration, eurosceptic National Rally led in the European Parliament elections.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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