Google wants developers to keep things in perspective. The company has announced a new API designed to help improve online conversations.
The Perspective API uses machine learning to score the perceived impact of a comment. Developers can use that score to provide real-time feedback, help moderators, or enable readers to find relevant context, according to the company.
“Discussing things you care about can be difficult. The threat of abuse and harassment online means that many people stop expressing themselves and give up on seeking different opinions,” the company wrote on the API’s website.
(Related: Google announces TensorFlow Fold)
The API is a part of Google’s collaborative research effort Conversation AI to see how machine learning can be used as an online conversational tool. The API is still in its research and development phase. The first alpha of the API scores comments based on how “toxic” they are.
“The model is still far from perfect. It will make errors: [it] will be unable to detect patterns of toxicity it has not seen before, and it will falsely detect comments that are similar to patterns of previous toxic conversations. To help improve the machine learning, the API also supports sending us suggested scores,” according to Conversation AI’s website.
As Google gets further in its research, the company plans to add more models to the API, and it is looking into unsubstantial or off-topic models.
In addition, the company announced the latest version of its Support Library: a suite of libraries designed to provide backward compatibility and other Android features.
Version 25.2 of the release features bug fixes, such as a server MediaRouter issue; improvements to slide presentations and screen mirroring; enhancements to the media button; and fixing the crash problem with RecyclerView.
“It’s important to keep current when you’re dealing with technology,” wrote Agustin Fonts, product manager for the Android Support Library, in a blog post. “That’s why we’re constantly working to improve the quality of our software, particularly libraries that are linked into your apps, such as the Support Library.”