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  • The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) is collaborating with Amazon’s cloud computing division to develop an AI system for content classification.
  • The AI model is expected to identify and tag content issues, reducing the workload of compliance officers by as much as 60%.
  • Future plans for the system include training it to assign international age ratings, thereby easing the process for streaming services across different regions.

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has embarked on a partnership with Amazon‘s cloud computing division to develop an artificial intelligence model designed to aid in content classification. This move is in response to the increasing workload brought about by the rise of streaming video content and the corresponding need for accurate and efficient content classification.

Addressing Content Classification Challenges

The BBFC, responsible for classifying films in the UK, is seeking to utilize AI technology to lessen the labor-intensive process of film classification. By identifying and tagging potential issues such as explicit language, dangerous behaviour, and explicit scenes, the AI system could significantly expedite the classification process. Notably, the introduction of AI is not intended to replace professional compliance officers but rather to reduce their workload by up to 60%.

The Role of AI in the BBFC

BBFC Chief Executive David Austin believes that the integration of AI will enhance their service, particularly in light of the rapid expansion of online content. The project, albeit still in its infancy, is poised to provide value to the industry by reducing the cost of classification in the future. While automation for some classification aspects such as language is relatively straightforward, others like nudity detection have only recently become possible with advancements in machine vision technology. More complex content issues like dangerous behaviour and sexual violence, however, present more of a challenge for AI identification.

Future Directions

The next phase of the project plans to train AI systems in assigning international age ratings, which could benefit streaming services by enabling them to obtain content ratings for multiple regions simultaneously. This advancement is projected to further reduce the cost and complexity of content classification. However, the BBFC’s past has not been devoid of controversy, especially regarding its reliance on distributors for funding, which has resulted in unique circumstances such as the classification of a 10-hour film of paint drying. This peculiar instance highlights the need for a more streamlined approach to content classification.