Microsoft has announced that it has created a technology capable of detecting, addressing, and reporting sex predators who use gaming chat platforms to prey on children. The technique, dubbed “Project Artemis,” will be shared with other service companies as a means of fighting online exploitation.
Project Artemis works by scanning, evaluating, and rating the content of chat conversations. Those that exceed a certain probability rating are flagged and forwarded to human moderators, who can then decide whether there is a real threat and act appropriately (e.g., contacting law enforcement).
The University of California, Berkeley’s Dr. Hany Farid led the team that drafted Artemis. This is the same digital forensics expert who helped Microsoft (and Dartmouth College) develop PhotoDNA in 2009, a tool that “assisted in the detection, disruption and reporting of millions of child sexual exploitation images.”
Microsoft says that the technique has already been in use on the Xbox platform for several years. In the future, the company expects to integrate the technology into other chat-based services, such as Skype.