Late last year Microsoft hosted a hackathon with a view to combating child exploitation online.
The hackathon bore fruit and that fruit is Project Artemis.
Project Artemis is described as a detection technique by which online predators grooming children can be detected and reported.
The technique was developed in collaboration with The Meet Group, Roblox, Kik and Thorn. The solution is free to “qualified online service companies” that offer a chat function .
So how does it work?
Project Artemis is able to evaluate and rate conversations and assign an overall rating.
“This rating can then be used as a determiner, set by individual companies implementing the technique, as to when a flagged conversation should be sent to human moderators for review. Human moderators would then be capable of identifying imminent threats for referral to law enforcement, as well as incidents of suspected child sexual exploitation to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). NCMEC, along with ECPAT International, INHOPE and the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), provided valuable feedback throughout the collaborative process,” explained Microsoft.
Project Artemis’ licensing and adoption will be handled by Thorn, the firm Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore co-founded in 2012.
Companies and services wanting to test and adopt Project Artemis can contact Thorn directly at antigrooming[at]thorn[dot]org. Project Artemis is available for implementation from today – 10th January.
Microsoft does note that Project Artemis is not a magic wand that will eliminate child grooming online completely.
“Child sexual exploitation and abuse online and the detection of online child grooming are weighty problems. But we are not deterred by the complexity and intricacy of such issues. On the contrary, we are making the tool available at this point in time to invite further contributions and engagement from other technology companies and organizations with the goal of continuous improvement and refinement,” the Redmond giant said.
“Combating online child exploitation should and must be a universal call to action,” Microsoft concluded.