Google launches new AI tool to tackle child sexual abuse material online

Source Shawn Collins Flikr

Source Shawn Collins Flikr

"By using deep neural networks for image processing, we can now assist reviewers in sorting through many images by prioritizing the most likely CSAM content for review", Google said in a statement.

Since the early 2000s, the Google has been investing in technology, teams, and working closely with expert organizations, like the Internet Watch Foundation, to fight the spread of child sexual abuse material online.

Because the program still requires human review, it cannot stamp out the child sexual abuse problem, but it can certainly help. But it's technically hard and emotionally challenging to review vast amounts of the horrific content.

"Identifying and fighting the spread of child sexual abuse material is an ongoing challenge, and governments, law enforcement, non-government organisations and industry all have a critically important role in protecting children from this horrific crime", explained Google product manager Abhi Chaudhuri and engineering lead Nikola Todorovic.

"Seems extraordinary that Google is considering censoring its content to get into China but won't cooperate with United Kingdom, US and other 5 eyes countries in removing child abuse content", Hunt wrote on Twitter.

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Google announced that it will use AI technology that will act as an add-on to existing technologies to help various service providers, NGOs, and other companies who monitor disturbing content. As Google stated, the new tool helped the moderators to deal with 700 percent more CSAM content than they could ever do with any tool they now have at their disposal. Google's API approach to addressing the issue offers a scalable approach, and partners such as the Internet Watch Foundation and the WePROTECT Global Alliance seem pleased with the progress.

"We, and in particular our expert analysts, are excited about the development of an artificial intelligence tool which could help our human experts review material to an even greater scale and keep up with offenders, by targeting imagery that hasn't previously been marked as illegal material".

The tool will be free for corporate partner and NGOs via Google's Content Safety programming kit.

Javid said that technology firms are not taking online child sexual abuse seriously.

He said tech companies needed to do more than just flag offensive material and threatened legislation if they didn't take more action.

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