It is aimed at detecting and countering placement scam at a large scale.
Researchers at Microsoft and the University of Southern California have developed a new tool to identify and root out ads that are too easy for users to inadvertently click.
Called a digital ‘Monkey’, the new tool is aimed at detecting and countering placement scam at a large scale by hopping between millions of app screens to observe whether designs comply with the app store’s usage requirements.
The new tool works by systematically reviewing apps in an app store, then launches an app in an emulator, further interacting with theapp to run through as much of it as it can.
Researchers noted that if the monkey comes across a button, it clicks on it and if it encounters a text box, it attempts to go on by determining what is being asked for and enters the required data including a zip code.
Microsoft principal researcher Jie Liu told MIT Technology Review: "The only goal of the monkey is to go to as many pages in the app as possible."