Microsoft Takes Aim At Online Child Predators With Project Artemis

Microsoft Takes Aim At Online Child Predators With Project Artemis

Project Artemis is Microsoft’s attempt to stop online predators and the tech giant has been using it on Xbox for years.

In an effort to track down online predators, Microsoft has developed a tool they are calling Project Artemis that will help detect and report online child grooming. Project Artemis reviews text-based chats and determines if it is an attempt at grooming. Child grooming is the practice of building an online relationship with a minor by gaining their trust for the purpose of abusing or exploiting them. Chat companies that implement Artemis’s technology can detect, address and report any suspicious activity taking place in their chat rooms.

Microsoft has been using the Artemis technology on Xbox for years and is possibly planning on introducing it on Skype. Developed in collaboration with The Meet Group, Roblox, Kik, and Thorn, the system builds off of Microsoft patented tech that will be made available for free via Thorn starting January 10, 2020. The nonprofit group Thorn builds technology to defend children from sexual abuse. They started the project in November 2018 at a Microsoft “360 Cross Industry Hackathon.”

Microsoft is not the only big tech company doing its part to fight child pornography and exploitation. YouTube recently pulled channels and disabled comments on several videos after it was reported that a child porn ring was using the platform. Tumblr temporarily removed their app from the App Store after images that depicted child sexual abuse made it past their filters.

Here’s more from the Microsoft blog post announcing Project Artemis:

Online child exploitation is a horrific crime that requires a whole-of-society approach. Microsoft has a long-standing commitment to child online protection. First and foremost, as a technology company, we have a responsibility to create software, devices and services that have safety features built in from the outset. We leverage technology across our services to detect, disrupt and report illegal content, including child sexual exploitation. And we innovate and invest in tools, technology and partnerships to support the global fight needed to address online child sexual exploitation.