Sep 5, 2018

Google unleashes its new image detection AI on child abuse content online

by Aksha Verma
Reading time: 1 min

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Google’s latest attempt to battle the spread of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online comes in the form of an AI that can quickly identify images that haven’t been previously catalogued.

It’s part of the company’s Content Safety API, which is available to NGOs and other bodies working on this issue. By automating the process of rifling through images, the AI not only speeds things up, but also reduces the number of people required to be exposed to it.

Microsoft worked on a similar project back in 2015, and Hollywood star Ashton Kutcher founded Thorn, an NGO focused on building tech tools to fight human trafficking and child sexual exploitation. One of its projects, dubbed Spotlight, helps law enforcement officials by identifying ads in classifieds sites and forums promoting escort services involving minors.

Google’s new AI goes beyond looking at known hashes, so it’ll hopefully be able to tackle new content without having to rely on databases of previously identified CSAM.

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