Using Artificial Intelligence to Combat Bullying

Bullying has always been a problem in schools. Over the last few years, it’s finally getting taken seriously and given proper attention.

Research has shown that when adults respond quickly, bullying behavior can be stopped over time. Unfortunately, teachers don’t always see the signs until it’s too late. One school district in Japan is attempting to give teachers and officials a powerful ally in combating the problem.

Otsu Partners with Hitachi to Analyze 9000 Cases of Bullying

The western Japanese city of Otsu recently signed an accord with Hitachi to collaborate on a project. They plan to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to help detect signs and patterns of aggression.

AI will analyze 9000 cases of bullying that occurred in local elementary and junior high schools over the past 6 years. It will look at things such as grade, gender, timing, location, number of students involved and academic records.

The goal of the project is to help teachers detect characteristics and early warning signs. Often minor issues between students can lead to bigger problems. If signs are recognized early enough, teachers can squash bullying before it occurs.

“Local schools are expected act firmly against (bullying) without solely being dependent on teachers’ experience, by having AI theoretically analyze past data.” said Otsu Mayor Naomi Koshi.

Otsu Mobilized by Tragedy

The school board expects the analysis to be completed by October. Otsu suffered tragedy in 2011 when a 13 year-old boy committed suicide. After a two year investigation, it was determined to have been caused by bullying. Since then, the city has required each school to report bullying cases within 24 hours.

It’s always good to see artificial intelligence being used for good. If AI can help stop even one case of bullying then the project would be a success. We look forward to more schools using technology to combat aggression and help students.

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