AI model takes on clickbaiters

Samarasekara Vitharana GamageBachelor of Computer Science (Honours) students, Bhanuka Samarasekara Vitharana Gamage, Adnan Labib, and Aisha Joomun, collaborated in a final year project titled “Baitradar: A Multi-model Clickbait Detection Algorithm using Deep Learning”. The project focuses on developing an artificial intelligence (AI) model that will predict whether a YouTube video is a ‘clickbait’ or not. Good news! This project was accepted for presentation at the 46th IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP) 2021.

“The rationale of our project is to provide users with an ultimate online clickbait free experience. YouTube is one of the largest online video-sharing and viewing platforms in present days. Catchy video titles or thumbnails can attract, encourage and deceive people into clicking videos,” stated Adnan.

Bhanuka added that their goal was to find a real-world problem and develop a possible solution to it. When brainstorming ideas, they noticed that YouTube contains multiple clickbait videos that hinder general users: “Thus, we decided on coming up with a solution to that problem”.Adnan Labib

It was a challenge for them to juggle the project with other units in their final year. For Adnan, he mostly worked on the front end of the system, especially developing a browser extension from scratch without any experience. “The project was a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, achievements and dismays,” said Bhanuka.

The team members were chosen at random with three distinct personalities. Given the aim, they put the differences aside and delivered a commendable final year project. “We divided the task among the three of us, set deadlines and held weekly meetings to discuss our progress,” said Adnan.

Upon receiving the good news, Bhanuka was delighted as it was his first conference submission. Adnan shared his sentiments: “I was happy and proud at the same time as it is one of the most highly ranked conferences in Computer Science.”

Besides developing one AI model for this final year project, they emphasised how much they loved their campus life. “It was a great experience, and I enjoyed every moment. Being able to make friends from different countries and cultures added to the experience,” Bhanuka shared. Adnan expressed that Monash has a highly reputable IT department with great research output and provides units that he likes.

Bhanuka, who has recently graduated, believes with time, results will follow. “Focus on what you love and are passionate about. Then you will always find the time and energy to do it no matter what.”

Adnan’s advice is to never give up on what you are pursuing, no matter how difficult it seems because, in the end, you will be rewarded.

The team expressed their appreciation to Associate Professor Wong Kok Sheik (the primary supervisor) and Dr Lim Chern Hong (the co-supervisor). “Words can’t express our gratitude for all the time, effort and expertise they put into helping us finalise our project,” said Bhanuka.

Congratulations, team! We are truly proud of you. Best of luck on the presentation!