Japanese city to use AI to help teachers spot signs of school bullying

(Kyodo News)

Otsu, Japan ●
Tue 26 March 2019

2019-03-26
06:03
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The city of Otsu in western Japan will launch the country’s first attempt to use artificial intelligence to help teachers spot signs of serious bullying next month.

The AI ​​will be used to analyze some 9,000 historical cases of bullying reported by local elementary and high schools over the six years to this month. The system will also assess cases where bullying was only suspected.

The city on Friday signed an agreement with Tokyo-based Hitachi Systems Ltd. to collaborate on the project.

AI should help schools detect assaults in bullying cases, which can be triggered by a minor issue between students, even when some teachers lack the knowledge or experience to identify warning signs, according to the local school board.

Read also: Bullying is becoming more common among kindergarten children, experts say

Otsu Mayor Naomi Koshi said earlier that she expects local schools “to take firm action against (bullying) without depending solely on the experience of teachers, asking AI theoretically analyze past data “.

Factors to be looked at via AI include the grade level of affected students, their gender and number of people involved, when and where the bullying occurred, as well as the student’s academic records.

The school board believes the scan, which is expected to be completed by October, will reveal the characteristics of bullying to help teachers identify cases in their classrooms.

In Otsu, the suicide of a 13-year-old boy in 2011 was determined by a group of third-party experts two years later to have been caused by bullying.

Since then, the city’s education council has asked every school to report bullying cases within 24 hours.


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