Promoting pride and respect with machine learning

At Google, we think everyone should be able to express themselves online, so we want make conversations more inclusive. Sometimes the labels we use to describe ourselves and our loved ones can be used to harass people online - but technology can help.

Given Auckland Pride is one of the first pride parades in the world every year, today we’re kicking off Project Respect to help make conversations more inclusive. We are asking members of the LGBTIQ+ community and their supporters to write a statement about themselves, or someone they love and respect, to help reclaim positive identity labels.

Project Respect invites people to write a statement about themselves or LGBTQI+ people that they love and respect, to help reclaim positive identity labels.

These statements will then go into an open source data set, which coders, developers and technologists all over the world can use to help teach machine learning models how the LGBTIQ+ community speak about themselves.

One of those machine learning algorithms is called “Perspective”. It’s a tool we’ve been developing that can be used to highlight the toxicity of a comment to you, while you’re writing it. That gives you, as the writer, an opportunity to reflect, reconsider and edit your comment, making conversations more inclusive.

Perspective is an early-stage technology that uses machine learning to help identify toxic comments.
And while Project Respect began in Sydney, it’s also being rolled out at Pride in Auckland and other parts of the world, meaning the data we gather will represent the LGBTIQ+ community on a global scale.

What statement am I contributing to Project Respect? “I am so proud and happy to be a gay Kiwi man. As gay people, I feel we can really live the life and be the people we want to be. I wouldn't want it any other way.”

And at Google, we encourage people to bring their whole selves to work wherever they are - including in our New Zealand offices - and we are committed to cultivating a work environment where Googlers can be themselves and thrive.

We also want our employees to have the same inclusive experience outside of the office, and for LGBTIQ+ communities to be safe and to be accepted wherever they are, both in the real world, and online.

Don’t forget to share your statement here, and help make conversations more inclusive.