Google is taking the “next step” in helping combat the proliferation of child abuse images online:
Today we’re introducing the next step in this fight: cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) that significantly advances our existing technologies to dramatically improve how service providers, NGOs, and other technology companies review this content at scale. By using deep neural networks for image processing, we can now assist reviewers sorting through many images by prioritizing the most likely CSAM content for review. While historical approaches to finding this content have relied exclusively on matching against hashes of known CSAM, the classifier keeps up with offenders by also targeting content that has not been previously confirmed as CSAM. Quick identification of new images means that children who are being sexually abused today are much more likely to be identified and protected from further abuse.
The known hash list is a powerful tool, but it’s always had one drawback. Until something is identified and hashed, the tool doesn’t know about it yet. Taking it this next step will help identify potential abuse images that aren’t yet on that list. I haven’t always been Google’s biggest supporter, but I will acknowledge that this is a good thing.
Let’s hope it works, and continues to get better.