Japan city to use AI to help teachers detect signs of school bullying

Technology will examine the grade-level and gender of suspected victims and perpetrators

The Japanese city of Otsu will begin next month the country's first attempt to use artificial intelligence to help teachers detect signs of serious school bullying.
The Japanese city of Otsu will begin next month the country's first attempt to use artificial intelligence to help teachers detect signs of serious school bullying.

A city in Japan city plans to use artificial intelligence to combat bullying in schools.

Otsu has joined forces with Tokyo-based Hitachi Systems Ltd to collaborate on the groundbreaking project, which is scheduled to start next month.

School officials believe the technology will help teachers predict the seriousness of suspected school bullying cases, Japan’s national daily reports.

According to The Mainichi, AI will be used to analyse 9,000 suspected bullying cases reported by elementary and junior high schools in the city over the six years through fiscal 2018.

It will examine the grade-level and gender of the suspected victims and perpetrators as well as when and where the bullying occurred.

Otsu mayor Naomi Koshi previously said she expects local schools to “act firmly against [bullying] without solely being dependent on teachers’ experience, by having AI theoretically analyse past data.”

The education board believes the analysis, expected to be completed by October, will make known the characteristics of bullying to help teachers identify cases in their classrooms.

Otsu’s education board came under fire over the handling of a case involving a 13-year-old boy who committed suicide in 2011 by jumping from the building he lived in.

In 2013, a panel determined he had been a victim of bullying.

Since then, the city’s education board has required each school to report bullying cases within 24 hours.

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