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AI combats child abuse

by Maaike Verschuren

The ZeroAbuse.AI AI tool is being developed to detect child abuse. Joelle Casteix, who works for the non-profit organization Zero Abuse Project, explains how it works.

“We use publicly available data to help institutions investigate child sexual abuse. We also look for patterns of attempts to conceal the abuse.” Those patterns are discovered by the new AI tool.

Public information in AI system

The data Zero Abuse Project uses is public information. They now work with sixty years of data from the Catholic Church. “The data tells us, for example, where all the priests are placed, how often they have been moved and how far away.”

“We also use the data to determine whether priests have been transferred to an area with perpetrator-friendly laws. We have put all this data into an AI system. put.”

“What is happening is that the AI ​​system uses machine learning and pattern recognition to tell us which behavioral patterns the church uses to hide abuse,” said Casteix. “We can then use these patterns on the entire dataset.”

Casteix calls the tool ‘a major breakthrough in the fight against child abuse’. “We are still in the early stages, but expect to be able to launch our first product on the market by the end of the year.”

No espionage

Casteix emphasizes that the tool is not a big brother type of espionage technique. “It is a detection method. We only use public data. That means we do not affect people’s privacy. There is nothing more important than protecting children and if public data can help make the world a safer place,” then that’s great news. “

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