Google has announced a new AI that has a very noble cause, and that cause is to rid the internet of child sexual abuse images (CSAM). Google says that there are organizations of many sizes out there combating this plague and it wants them all to have the latest technology to help fight the spread of CSAM. Google's latest contribution to this endeavor is new AI that advances the technology available in the fight significantly.
Google says its new AI will dramatically improve the way service providers, NGOs, and other tech companies can fight CSAM and review content at scale. The AI uses deep neural networks for image processing and assists reviewers in sorting through many images by prioritizing the images most likely to be CSAM for review. Google notes that historically finding
By identifying new images faster that weren't previously confirmed as CSAM, Google says that children being sexually abused are much more likely to be identified and protected from further abuse. Google is going to offer the AI to NGOs and industry partners at no cost as part of its Content Safety API. That API is a toolkit that increases the capacity to review content in a way that helps prevent people from being exposed to it. This AI will certainly be welcome by the humans tasked with manually reviewing this type of content.
Susie Hargreaves OBE, CEO, Internet Watch Foundation said of the new AI, "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. By sharing this new technology, the identification of images could be speeded up, which in turn could make the internet a safer place for both survivors and users."
Google reports that it has seen first hand that the new AI can help a reviewer find and act on 700% more CSAM content over the same period. Google has been investing for years to take on a challenge such as this and part of that investing has been in the development of tools to detect CSAM in ways that are precise and effective.