Expanding comments with AI

The problem with human moderators is that they have human limitations that cannot keep up with a
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huge influx of comments. That was the problem the New York Times faced in balancing reader comments demand with an editorial standard of civility for all published comments. Its solution was a partnership with , an incubator owned by Google's parent company, Alphabet.
Back in September, the Times announced the partnership in an article that set out the challenge faced by its 14 moderators tasked with reviewing the comments on the 10% of articles that do allow them. That alone amounted to 11,000 comments a day. As the article invited readers to try their hand at moderating, it was entitled Approve or Reject: Can You Moderate Five New York Times Comments?
I took the test. The official summary of my results were: "You moderated 4 out of 5 comments as the Community desk would have, and it took you 81 seconds. Moderating the 11,000 comments posted to nytimes.com each day would take you 49.5 hours."
That summation was followed by this: "Don't feel too bad; reviewing all of these comments takes us a long time, too." According to my calculations, however, the Times actually allows more time for their moderators. Given 14 people working 8 hours a day, the number of working hours each day would be 112, or more than twice the number of hours they said would be required for my rate of moderation.
That investment of so many hours is not something they regret, as they regard it as a requisite part of building up "one of the best communities on the web." However, they recognize that needs must dictate a new approach. That's where the machine assistance enters into the picture, enabling the same number of humans to effectively moderate a much larger number of comments and reduce the delay for reviewing time.
Flash forward to June 13, 2017, and the Gray Lady herself announces: The Times Sharply Increases Articles Open for Comments, Using Google's Technolog

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