Webhelp keeps growing with the opening of new offices in Malaga

Webhelp, a leading global customer experience and business solutions provider, inaugurated its new offices in the Benalmar Building, located 20 kilometres from Málaga city, as the company’s new B2B sales project centre and technology hub for the local economy.

Mr. Víctor Navas, Mayor of Benalmádena, attended the inauguration together with Julio Jolín, CEO of Webhelp Spain; Victor Sunden, deputy CEO and COO Webhelp Nordic and Vincent Bernard, Chief Operating Officer Webhelp Group.

Webhelp is committed to promoting growth and employment in Málaga.

The new headquarters in the Benalmar Building, in Benalmádena, has 7,500 m2 and has been remodelled to adapt to the needs of the company and the new post Covid-19 requirements, with a capacity of up to 1,065 workstations. Webhelp estimates a 25% growth this year, generating employment opportunities and attracting talent to the local community.

Julio Jolín, CEO of Webhelp Spain said:

“Malaga is one of the Spanish cities with the greatest projection in the technological and business field. The great quality of life it offers and its extraordinary connection with other cities in Europe make it a strategic capital for competitiveness and talent attraction. Webhelp has been on the Costa del Sol since 2017 and currently has more than 60 positions open for recruitment in the coming weeks. From Benalmádena, our goal is to grow in B2B sales and promote the generation of employment, providing the best service to our clients”.

From its current headquarters in Benalmádena, Webhelp’s staff in Malaga is formed by people of around 30 nationalities offering B2B services mainly to companies in the banking and insurance sector, information technology, high tech and construction, with a strong international projection, and aims to become a hub of growth and talent attraction for the region.
In Spain, Webhelp has offices in Barcelona, Mallorca, Valencia and Tenerife and recorded revenues of 185 million euros, 23% more than in 2019. More than 75,000 Webhelpers share their talent and passion every day to help their clients make a difference, inspired by the “Think Human” vision promoted by the company.


Webhelp and Signify bring home a win at the Customer Experience Excellence Awards

28th May 2021

Webhelp, the leading global customer experience and business solutions provider, and its global client Signify, the world leader in lighting for professionals and consumers, brought home an award together at this year’s Customer Experience (CX) Excellence Awards.

The ceremony, presented virtually on Wednesday the 26th of May, as part of the NICE Interactions 2021 event, awarded Signify and Webhelp teams for the Best CX Innovation category.

The award recognized the companies for the flawless roll-out of NICE in Contact’s CXone, a cloud-based solution, enabling Signify to deliver an omnichannel experience from three consolidated multilingual hubs across Europe, the Asia Pacific, and North America. With the help of 200+ brand ambassadors who cover 40 languages, Webhelp provides multichannel customer support to Signify’s consumers and professional customers.

The technology solution also enabled ambassadors to have more precise insights into Signify’s customers’ needs while gaining back time to focus on engaging in higher quality interactions.

When Signify and Webhelp renewed their global partnership in 2019, Webhelp initiated this project to drive digital transformation and pursue world-class operational excellence on a global scale. The project featured in the submission focused on the Nordic region, which served as a front-runner for the implementation. The roll-out is currently underway across the other regions.

Luite van Zelst, Global Vendor Manager, Signify, stated,

We are proud to accept the Best CX Innovation award together with Webhelp, which reflects the immense effort and teamwork to deliver one seamless experience for our customers. With Webhelp’s support on this front, we’ve managed to build out a centralized process together, enabling us to address the core needs of our customers. Given customer-centricity is a key focus, we will continue to expand the solution with an iterative approach to ensure our customers are serviced at a high standard.

Andrea Kaminski, Global Industry Lead, High Tech and Media, Webhelp, said,

We are thrilled to receive recognition for our work with Signify. Over the past years, our teams have worked incredibly hard to support Signify’s rapidly growing global customer base. With technology enablement as a core strategic pillar of our work with clients, we’re happy to work with an organization like Signify, which is open to adapting to new technology in the ever-changing CX landscape. This award is certainly a special moment as we continue on our transformation journey together.”

NICE honored CX excellence award winners at the virtual interaction event, celebrating the delivery of exceptional experiences and CX agility through innovation. The Best CX Innovation award category recognized the adoption of innovative artificial intelligence, analytics, or automation that drove digital fluency, transformation and business results.


KYC remediation

[Banking, Insurance, FinTech] KYC Remediation: how to outsource without sacrificing customer experience

KYC remediation

The purpose of KYC remediation procedures, which regulated establishments may be required to carry out, is to upgrade client data and to ensure that it is compliant. Faced with large amounts of data to process under tight deadlines, many companies choose outsourcing. But you need to be careful. KYC operations are delicate. They can have an unpleasant impact on end customers and thereby lead to the closure of customers’ accounts! However, as Nicolas Dambrine, Managing Director of Webhelp KYC Services explains, they are also an opportunity to get to know your customers better and even to boost their level of satisfaction.

KYC remediation refers to compliance operations that concern existing clients, in the context of KYC (Know Your Customer) regulations. It involves collecting, updating and checking customer data and the supporting documents, in particular, for identity, address and activity, as well as for tax. As a rule, with a regulated company (such as a bank, an insurance company, a payment institution or with FinTech), it follows:

  • Pressure from the Regulator (the Prudential Supervision Resolution Authority, or ACPR in France), requiring a particular group of customers to be brought into compliance, sometimes with the threat of a fine
  • The entry into force of new regulations which, to be complied with, require the database of existing customers to be updated
  • Receipt of a banking licence or the acquisition of a banking institution, meaning that the database of existing customers needs to be updated so as to ensure uniform adherence to regulatory procedures

For many financial institutions, these remediation obligations pose several challenges: how can you implement a large number of operations in a short time and in a reliable and traceable way? How can you maximise the data collection rate so as to avoid closing the accounts of customers that did not respond? Finally, how can you minimise the impact on customer experience and avoid tarnishing the image of your brand?
After all, we should remember that a remediation initiative is rarely a happy experience for the end customers. It may appear intrusive or be viewed as a form of phishing that could compromise the confidentiality of their personal data.

While outsourcing KYC remediation is a very suitable solution to address these issues, it is not something you can improvise! For Nicolas Dambrine, there are a few golden rules to follow when it comes to outsourcing a KYC remediation initiative:

  • Work out a methodology with accurate planning and topic-focused workshops, so you can prepare each stage of the project in advance and prevent technical, operational or human errors before the project gets under way.
  • Get the help of a project team with both the right size and experience over the whole course of the initiative. It is easy to underestimate the workload, so it is better to invest a little more at the outset to ensure the project is well managed.
  • Prioritise operational efficiency and process optimisation with an end-to-end solution combining technological and human elements. The truth is that although technology is transforming and accelerating the process of remote identification, no platform can claim to automate 100% of operations. Some complex procedures will require the involvement of teams of expert operators focused on value-added tasks and interaction with customers.
  • Set up a dedicated telephone helpline right at the start of the initiative, allowing the end customers to ask questions and to check if the operation is legitimate, or to get help with completing the remediation process. We found out that 95% per cent of customers who contact this hotline agree to carry out the remediation, which is thanks to the quality of the advice from our expert agents. So for your initiative, this is a great way to increase the rate of compliance! This communication channel is also an opportunity to improve your customer relations and to strengthen the bond with your end customer: by getting updates on their situation or on their contact details, or hearing them express their needs and their problems …
  • Establish accurate reporting and metrics beforehand, as they are essential for managing the project and achieving your objectives. They will enable you to monitor its progress and take decisions at the right time in the event of a change of course.

These five factors, if they are properly taken into account, are the keys to the success of an outsourced KYC remediation initiative.

When you make customer relations central to the whole operation, KYC remediation campaigns can give you an opportunity to improve the relationship with the end customer and to boost customer loyalty over the long-term, thanks to reassuring advice provided by experts.

To find out more about this topic

SHARE

Protect your community of dealers and buyers in the online marketplace

Managing content at each step of the online marketplaces’ customer journey

Protecting users online is crucial for businesses. It’s imperative to have a safe and secure platform for a seamless experience, and provide customers with trustworthy content to engage throughout the customer journey.

Did you know: 67% of consumer’s fears towards the sharing economy are related to trust, and 73% of people are unlikely to return to a site if ads have poor descriptions?

This paper looks at some of the pain points in online marketplaces, highlighting how Webhelp can offer a comprehensive and game changing solution to ensure a smooth and efficient experience.

Download our insights to learn more and discover our solutions.


 

Author

Thomas Japy

Digital Content Services Business Analyst

Contact the author
SHARE

Whitepaper B2B Marketplaces Webhelp Payment Services

Whitepaper: The sun rises - The role and opportunities of B2B marketplaces in a post-Covid world

Whitepaper-B2B-Marketplace

Following our last studies “The spring of B2B marketplaces” (2017), “B2B marketplaces are blossoming” (2018), and “The summer of B2B marketplaces” (2020), we once again joined forces with the strategy consulting firm Roland Berger and Mirakl to take stock of this new year of development for B2B marketplaces.

This new edition, entitled “The sun rises – The role and opportunities of B2B marketplaces in a post-Covid world”, goes further into the new development and opportunities for B2B marketplaces which played a key role in helping businesses continue their activities during the pandemic.

While the growth of B2B marketplaces has thus accelerated, they also face added pressure from B2C marketplaces, as customers’ expectations have also risen. Increasingly threatened by leading generalist marketplaces, B2B players have turned to diversifying their products and developing vertical services on highly controlled and specialized markets to protect themselves. This specialist approach shows clear success potential today and in the post-Covid era, as B2B marketplaces are expected to continue to grow at a strong rate.

We invite you to download this study, which addresses the following topics in detail:

  • The relevance of B2B marketplaces in a post Covid-world
  • Two distinct strategies for B2B marketplaces: digital generalist natives and incumbent B2B players


How to maneuver ahead to meet new customer needs

Automotive: 3 tips to meet new customer needs

2020 became the year of digital acceleration – to strengthen the connection with consumers, digital transformation is a must for the automotive industry.

The road may be circuitous depending on maturity, but implementation of the right tools and a strong customer-focused strategy will support in maneuvering ahead.

To assess this maturity and support you in this transformation, Julie Bouis, Sales Director for Webhelp’s Automotive and Mobility BU shares some insights and advice.

  1. Automotive sales and after-sales: new challenges and customer needs

There is no doubt about it, the automotive sales and service environment has changed markedly over the last few years, long before the 2020 health crisis.

At national and international levels, we noticed:

  • Significant shifts in customer loyalty to manufacturers and their owned cars
  • Demand for digital services increasingly diversified and more personalized offers
  • Stricter environmental and safety regulations

New industry challenges are emerging in the automotive industry. Customers’ expectations are increasingly pressing, requesting for greater personalization, immediacy, choice, connectivity, as well as more security and reassurance.

To differentiate, interactions must be customized to the needs of customers, while considering these new industry challenges.

  1. 2020, accelerator of the CX digitalization in the automotive sector

These challenges – combined with 2020’s events drove businesses to adapt customer journeys to maintain contact with prospects and customers.

Depending on the company – and its level of digital maturity – this adaptation resulted in:

    • Implementing 100% digital or online journeys
    • Setting up digital showrooms
    • Creating or participating to 100% digital car shows
    • Introducing e-advisors or e-salespeople
    • Starting or consolidating a remote diagnosis service (video)
    • Contactless terminals installation

In many cases, these solutions have been an emergency reaction: they need to be re-evaluated internally to stabilize or improve the new model and make it efficient and sustainable.

The booster effect of digital transformation from 2020 events has significantly impacted customer relationships in the automotive sector: these technical evolutions now require internal modifications to be fully integrated.

  1. Automotive sales and after-sales: new models focusing on new customer needs

Digitization has embraced emerging needs for customer interactions management, but at the same time it has revealed many barriers to transformation.

Let’s take the example of creating e-salespeople teams to sell vehicles 100% online – the preferred solution for many players: Automotive distance selling framework: building a successful sales strategy.

This solution requires to overcome the barriers of tools technical complexity – in order to promote information sharing, data analysis, and personalization of the offer (sales and after-sales).

To adopt this strategy, you will need to carefully assess the competitiveness concern evaluating competition between dealerships and online sales in order to shape the solution according to the customer’s needs.

  1. Diversify contact channels and redesign customer journey

With customization offers, it should be noted that a digital transformation cannot be implemented without a solid CRM solution: this is the cornerstone that will enable you to collect and analyze the data of your prospects and future customers.

A CRM solution can provide real data based on the identified customer needs to proceed efficiently and effectively.

To establish satisfactory contact with your customers and prospects, consider multiplying your contact channels: from the most common channels (telephone, email, chat, social networks), to the most innovative (bot, video chat, WhatsApp, Messenger).

Let’s take the example of video chat. According to our research conducted by OnePoll  in July 2020 in France, the UK and Germany:

  • 12% of customers interacted with a brand via video chat for the first time during the Covid crisis
  • 20% of video chat users are now using it more often
  • 27% might switch to a competitor providing video as a contact channel: that’s more than a quarter of the respondents.

In a comprehensive way, it is recommended to redesign your customer journey to offer an enhanced experience, by offering new services to your customers, such as

  • Communities of experts
  • Selfcare tools
  • Luxury concierge service, etc.

These new services will enable you to adapt to your customers’ expectations, reinforce the quality of service and improve your economic performance.

5. Accelerate your digital transformation

Our 3 tips to help you move forward quickly:

    1. Assess your customer relationships and contact centers: the objective is to measure the performance of your organization (benchmark of best practices), in an unprecedented context of uncertainty.
    2. Identify the ways to improve your customer experience, also the internal constraints that slow down your digital transformation.
    3. Consider outsourcing, on a one-off or partial basis: set ambitious budget and commercial performance objectives -see the article Automotive distance selling framework: building a successful sales strategy.

Have you implemented any of these points, or considering how? We can support you in planning your digital transformation and redesigning your customer journey, from sales to after-sales service.

SHARE

Fashion: sales agents role

[Fashion] "Sales agents play a key role in brand development!"

Fashion: sales agents role

Jérôme Tordjmann runs the Talk sales agency, specialising in urban fashion and streetwear, in both physical and digital environments. He answers 4 questions put to him by Aline Abeya, Sales Manager France & Benelux at Webhelp Payment Services.

The role of a sales agent is to help fashion brands, whether they are emerging or well established, to grow in a market. And in these complex times, they play the even bigger role of a facilitator. So at Webhelp Payment Services, we pay particular attention to our relationship with sales agents, to whom we offer a comprehensive range of payment services. Your agency, Talk, specialises in urban fashion and streetwear. Can you tell us a bit more about what you do?

Jérôme Tordjmann: I set up the Talk agency and have been running it since June 2019. It’s one of the subsidiaries of JV Fashion which I established in 2006. Talk specialises in urban fashion and streetwear for men and women on a B2B basis.

Our team of 7 people offers selective or comprehensive support in 3 areas:

managing sales in France and around the world (business development, sales, after-sales), with the overall management of billing, payments and debt collection taken care of in partnership with Webhelp Payment Services

creating temporary sales outlets: in-store corners, pop-up shops and shop-in shops (Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, Samaritaine, etc.), as well as recruiting and managing teams, training, merchandising and logistics. We also have a permanent showroom in central Paris, and we rent temporary showrooms during the fashion weeks in January and June.

– organisational consultancy: marketing, positioning, creating or adapting collections, artistic direction. We work alongside brands in all these areas, in both physical and digital environments – in the phygital world if you like. As far as the digital world is concerned, we can help brands with marketplaces like Zalando and Amazon which are becoming more and more influential from a commercial point of view.

So to sum up, we help a lot with “value creation”: sales agents play a key role in developing fashion brands!

To give you an idea of how well Talk is growing, our turnover has doubled each season.

Can you describe the kind of brands that you work with?

J.T.: They are often European brands, and exclusively involved in young, urban fashion and streetwear. We want to build and promote a really consistent world.

We work regularly with around fifteen brands, including: Daily Paper, ARTE Antwerp, Foret, The New Originals, Libertador, Mercer, Ksubi, Shaka, Rise of Human and Dechase.

Webhelp Payment Services offers sales agents a comprehensive range of payment services, from billing to debt collection, both nationally and internationally. And of course paying the agent their share after being paid by the client brand. What does your partnership look like?

J.T.: I’ve been working with Webhelp Payment Services since 2006, when it was called FDI. Talk’s clients are mainly adopting solutions like order analysis, payment plans, debt collection, credit insurance and customer scoring, both in France and internationally.

So at the moment we are not using the other services that Webhelp Payment Services offers sales agents, such as imports, logistics, paying commissions and KYC.

We are also in discussions with Webhelp Payment Services about offering some emerging brands the chance to embrace processes geared towards wholesale management. This is so that we can work together to help them grow in areas such as managing customer receivables, multi-brand stores and other strategic organisational issues.

How do you see the future of fashion brands in an era of marketplaces and online stores?

J.T.: Quite apart from the pandemic, online sales are booming. These sales compensate, sometimes to a large extent, for the decline in business for multi-brand retailers for example.

So clearly, we need to think about the development of large generalist marketplaces, like Zalando and Amazon, as well as more specialist platforms. We help brands within this environment, which is often new to them.

However, I sincerely believe that opposition to online shops is no longer a big deal. On the contrary, we are seeing the rise of a phygital approach, combining sales in physical stores with digital channels, trying to find the right balance.

The most dynamic emerging brands understand this: I can see that all the ones that we work with have an online store, which gives them a revenue stream, consolidates their financial and commercial position, and lastly, speeds up their growth.

Therefore, a phygital approach is a real opportunity for fashion brands, if they know how to manage it!

To find out more about this topic

SHARE

Alderman Vos Helix

Alderman James Vos visits Claremont site

As growth of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector in Cape Town continues to be recognised as a key driver of investment, up-skilling and jobs in the city, our South Africa team were delighted to welcome Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, Alderman James Vos, and the department’s Portfolio Committee to our Claremont site.

The visit was part of a large piece of work Alderman James Vos is doing to promote Cape Town and the BPO sector, working directly with Cape BPO and BPO providers. Ranked first in the world as the most favoured offshore destination in last months BPO omnibus, over the past 3 years the BPO sector in Cape Town has attracted R3,4 billion worth of investments fuelling economic growth and employment.

Alderman James Vos explained:

When I was given oversight over the City’s Enterprise and Investment Department in 2018, one of my main goals was to see the City of Cape Town make meaningful strides in the fight against unemployment and to stoke economic growth. We could achieve this by targeting high growth sectors such as BPO and working with our Strategic Business Partners in those industries. The result is a phenomenal R3,4 billion in investments pumped into the economy in the past three years alone. The sector employs more than 60 000 people in the city, with over 17 037 of them gaining employment in the last three years.

“This goes to show that Cape Town, despite these trying times, is still seen as one of the preferred destinations for contact centres to base their operations. As a high-performance African business hub, we are working on all fronts with investors, high growth sectors and small to medium enterprises to create the right conditions for investment and development.

The BPO sector also drove over R1,2 billion in investments in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic with Brandon Aitken, Webhelp’s Chief Commercial Officer in South Africa, saying:

Despite the pandemic, we have brought eight new clients to South Africa since the start of 2020 and in doing so created 2050 South African jobs, with 1400 of these roles coming to Cape Town. International clients from the retail sector in the United Kingdom, Europe and North America, as well as the travel sector, have driven this exceptional growth. Looking ahead, 2021 promises to be another year of new and exciting employment opportunities for young South Africans.


Data revolution: how APIs can and should accelerate your Digital Transformation

Colin Clive, Director of Platforms & Engineering, looks at the history of APIs, and the value they can and should bring to your business.

APIs: a history

The Application Programming Interface or API as it is more commonly known refers to the modern approach of using HTTP to provide access to data. APIs allow software applications and digital services to talk to each other. They return and send raw data, which can be in a standard machine readable format, and are primarily used to support the integration of systems. Modern Web APIs became mainstream in the early 2000s when new start-ups such as Salesforce, Amazon, and eBay published Web APIs to make services available to customers and third party providers.

Since then, APIs have been behind the technology revolution in a number of sectors, and has improved the customer experience in each of these sectors. This includes Financial Services, where the use of Open Banking opened up commerce and payments, and Social Media, where APIs became the power behind the platforms used by giants such as Facebook and Twitter.

You can find more information here on APIs including a link to a popular dissertation on Representational State Transfer (REST) by Roy Fielding, which laid the foundations of Web APIs that we use today.

The Value that APIs can Bring

When an organisation can make it simple to exchange information both internally and externally, it opens up massive opportunities. It is a misconception that APIs are only there to be used by Technology professionals to build applications. They can also be used simply to provide access to a wide range of data sets. To enable this, it is important to make the APIs accessible to non-developers using API tooling that doesn’t require any knowledge of coding.

A simple and powerful starting point is to outline clear instructions, detailing how to use the APIs and where to find to them. Extending this simple concept to your partners or customers opens up the provision of data and digital capabilities outside the organisation, without the need for time consuming and expensive technology integrations.

Of course, with increased interconnectivity comes increased security risk, and APIs are no different. It’s vitally important that organisations employ API security best practices, including API gateways and data encryption, to ensure the APIs are accessible to those who need them, and nobody else.

How APIs can accelerate Digital Transformation

Simplicity is the key to innovation and accelerating Digital Transformation. The focus of the Technology team should be to remove the backend complexity and provide a catalogued suite of APIs that will open up functionality and data to clients and partners.

However, this is not just about Technology. In an API-first organisation, the API strategy should be linked to and driven by business needs, with business owners defining the details of the API contracts, i.e. the data to be sent or received, how it is requested, and the events that allow the data to be sent or received.

With the technology in place and the key business experts involved in defining and prioritising, the capabilities to be integrated through APIs will allow for innovation, and the unlocking of value, at a rapid pace. Working in collaboration with clients to react to changing customer needs through already created and available APIs will accelerate the speed of achieving digital transformation.

What we’re doing at Webhelp

In business process outsourcing, the seamless integration of data and functionality between the client and the outsourcer is paramount to providing the best Customer Experience and insight.

With this in mind, Webhelp is currently putting in place an API infrastructure and deploying an API Gateway to manage, secure, and monitor a rich suite of APIs that will be available internally and – more importantly – externally, to our partners and clients. With an initial focus on data exchange, we will provide an open and secure mechanism over the public internet to allow the common data required for seamless operational reporting and business intelligence through Partner APIs.

We will provide a standard suite of APIs that will be accessible, catalogued, and simply defined using common industry standards. This will allow our clients and partners to use the APIs from Day 1 without the need of any timely and costly IT set up. All that is required is access to a reliable and performant internet connection.

 

Nothing stands still. The ability to develop new APIs and change existing APIs at pace to drive digital transformation, will require a shift from a traditional monolithic design to a cloud-native design supported by modern technology. To support this, Webhelp are moving to a modern enterprise digital platform, leveraging the best practice in the technology industry. This platform, combined with a team of highly skilled engineers using Development, Security and Operations (DevSecOps) to deliver securely at speed, will provide the ability to deploy APIs to the business, and to partners, at lightning speed.


AI content

Impact of AI on online content moderation

We have all heard about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the numerous potentials impacts it will or already has on our daily lives.

Machine Learning through Data Annotation is teaching computers to recognize what we show them, what we say, and how to react accordingly.

When trained well, the impacts it could have on online Content Moderation seem quite straightforward at first. Nonetheless, we will see that AI brings opportunities in the field as well as new challenges, not forgetting that we are only witnessing its genesis – there is still great room for improvement.

Implementing the process, but not totally developed yet

Virtually, AI seems to be a no-brainer as it will take the hit on the most sensitive contents. It will work as a fully impartial chooser instead of moderators having to approve or deny harmful posts.

This is currently put into practice within Webhelp – thanks to our in-house technology handling a growing part of the incoming User-Generated Contents, and attributing priority levels for moderators to take care of the most urgent ones first.

We have established that if AI obtains total control over what can appear on the internet, it will start to get messy very quickly. 2020 pushed tech giants to send workers home and to rely on algorithms to moderate their platforms. As soon as this happened, issues were observed across the two extremes. In fact, on Twitter, there was a steep increase of 40% of hate speech in France, while Facebook and Google both doubled the number of pieces of content flagged as potentially harmful material from Q1 to Q2.

Several examples of artificially intelligent moderators failing their tasks have been observed as not being able to understand human expressions in the first instance, such as irony, sarcasm, or more striking and unambiguously harmful words, however when they are put into context they reveal to be harmless.

This happened over a live chess game on YouTube which has been taken down due to hate speech, but only chess strategy was talked about. The limitations Artificial Intelligence encounters start to fade away as researchers from the University of Sheffield are starting to successfully integrate context in Natural Language Processing algorithms. This technology will be able to detect the differences of languages across communities, races, ethnicities, genders and sexualities, but as Ofcom says: “Developing and implementing an effective content moderation system takes time, effort and finance, each of which may be a constraint on a rapidly growing platform in a competitive marketplace”.

Beneficial in fighting discrimination and derogatory speech online

Following an objective of moderating online content solely through Artificial Intelligence, several start-ups are arising in the market with ever-improving AI-driven solutions. Bodyguard is a great example of this new generation of players implementing technology fighting hate speech and other ailments. The platforms themselves have started developing their own tools: Pinterest unveiled AI that powers its Content Moderation and highlighted its benefits since its implementation: over a year, non-compliant reports have declined by 52% and self-harm content by 80% in the past two years. As we already mentioned, the quality and the quantity of labelled data is key -Facebook, thanks to 1 billion Instagram photos, has also succeeded in developing an innovative image-recognition AI system aiming at moderating the platform almost instantly. As it has just been launched, we are not able to appreciate SEER’s (SElf-supERvised) direct effects on the platform yet.

Watching out for the deepfakes

While these new technologies have potential for positive impact on Content Moderation, they have also created new challenges which plenty of us have already come across, growingly without even noticing it: deepfakes. When analyzing the credibility of content sources, AI can more easily recognize a bot that would be used by malicious users to amplify disinformation, and we can reasonably assume that it would do so for AI-created deepfakes. This issue is way more difficult to detect for the human eye, but appropriately trained moderators, supported by the right AI-driven tools is the perfect combination to complement purely automated or purely human moderation, quickly and effectively.

The first big reveal when it comes to this technology is Microsoft’s deepfake detection tool which has been trained on over 1,000 deepfake video sequences from a public dataset, in a similar manner Facebook has trained its moderation AI. Disruptors also enter the market: platforms like Sensitivity.ai are specialized in detecting face-swaps and other deepfakes which can have deep impacts on the political scene for instance. In fact, the most famous and recent example of deepfake was the face swap of Tom Cruise on Chris Ume’s body and which effect was that it impressed a consequent part of the internet and went viral. When applied to politic speeches, debates or else from official, the impacts could be way more considerable.

AI is not the silver bullet – there’s still room for improvement

Artificial Intelligence is a solution for greater accuracy and efficiency in Content Moderation. Nonetheless, it must not be forgotten that there is still huge room for improvement, as well as growing challenges because of its development for malicious purposes. It is important for any social platform and online community to appreciate how central Artificial Intelligence is becoming in the Moderation field, as both a threat and an opportunity.

Reacting accordingly by getting the right combination of human moderators and technological solutions is in fact needed, as the possibility the impacts on real life and brand image it could generate might rapidly become overwhelming.

 

Author

Thomas Japy

Digital Content Services Business Analyst

Contact the author
SHARE