Incident 136: Brand Safety Tech Firms Falsely Claimed Use of AI, Blocking Ads Using Simple Keyword Lists

Description: Brand safety tech firms falsely claimed use of AI, blocking ads using simple keyword lists.


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Alleged: none developed an AI system deployed by brand safety tech firms, which harmed news sites.

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Sean McGregor, Khoa Lam
We’ve Known Brand Safety Tech Was Bad-Here’s How Badly It Defunds The News · 2020

We’ve known for a long time that brand safety detection technologies were blunt instruments [1], [2], [3], [4], [5]. Despite their claims of advanced AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) in their sales materials, it was pa…


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.

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