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How can A.I. aid prevent Human Trafficking?

How can Artificial Intelligence assist to Stop Human Trafficking?

How can artificial intelligence aid stop human trafficking? First appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Emily Kennedy, Founder & President of Marinus Analytics, on Quora:

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With the advent of the Internet, we now live in an age where so much of life is happening online. When I was studying sex trafficking back at Carnegie Mellon in, we saw huge websites like Craigslist and Back page emerge, and the sale of sex move online. Although the majority of ads on those sites are for at-will sex workers, we knew that sex traffickers also were applying those platforms to advertise their victims against their will. We see everything from the low-level trafficker who has one or two victims, to the organized transnational criminal network who sells tens or hundreds of victims on these platforms.

And so back in, we thought there was a huge opportunity to apply AI for good to aid law enforcement to sift through this massive amount of data to find victims—the needles in the haystack. We deployed the first version of Traffic Jam in; it’s an AI-based investigative tool that sifts through the hundreds of millions of online ads and applies AI to them to aid detectives to find patterns that aid quickly recover victims and dismantle organized criminal networks.

For example, facial recognition has to enable a detective to apply only a photo of a year-old victim to identify where she is being sold online and ultimately lead to recovery. Pattern and image recognition have to enable analysts to search with a photo of a hotel room and recognize patterns like a bedspread that aid law enforcement find multiple victims pictured in the same location.

Now, we are working on fresh technology that will replicate the work done here, but instead, empower detectives to find these transnational criminal networks much more quickly than they would if they had to put the pieces together manually.

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