Engineers at a Santa Monica-based advertising company recently uploaded a lot of porn. But not to worry, it was for "training" purposes.

Rubicon Project was developing an artificial intelligence program, called Helix, that recognizes and prevents adults-only ads from popping up on its customers' Web sites.

Rubicon's business model is to drive advertising to Web sites, but its automatic system carries the risk of delivering inappropriate content. The company minimized the risk with Helix, which scans ads and blocks the ones with too much skin or that otherwise may be inappropriate.

How does Helix know what's too risqu & #233; and what isn't? In effect, it's seen a lot of porn 250,000 pieces to be exact. That's how much Rubicon engineers uploaded on Helix as part of the program's "training."

The engineers then showed Helix images that might be legitimate ads, say a girl in a bikini on a travel advertisement. With that "knowledge," Helix decides between good ads and those suitable for mature audiences only.

And where did Rubicon get 250,000 pieces of porn?

"Someone had a really interesting job for a while," said Frank Addante, Rubicon's chief executive.

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