Bots to spot digital bullying at the workplace

Artificial intelligence-driven bots can monitor e-mails and sense any case of harassment


A novel method to check digital bullying and sexual harassment has emerged with the introduction of #MeTooBots. These bots, driven by artificial intelligence (AI), are equipped to identify sexual harassment and digital bullying on e-mails as well as other forms of conversation within the workplace. The bots are equipped to monitor and draw attention to any communication between employees that carries even the slightest hint of harassment.
These bots use an algorithm that helps identify sexual and political bullying/harassment in e-mails, documents and chats. They perform an analysis of the text in the conversations to spot any indicators that are likely to snowball into a problem. If the bots come across any such text with the potential to turn into an issue later, the same is forwarded to a lawyer or human resource manager for thorough investigation.

The only risk is that in case there is a data leak by the software—even a slight one, by mistake— then the private conversations of the organisation can be exposed to competition. Also, since harassments occur in many forms, the bots may not be able to catch the subtle types that are beyond the capabilities of AI.

These bots are being co-manufactured by certain AI firms.
On similar lines, another chatbot has been created by an AI startup, which lets employees report cases of sexual harassment anonymously. It is also capable of advising employees and asking them sensitive questions that will throw light on the case and help investigations.

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