Microsoft opens up Xbox chat tool to help fight child exploitation

Microsoft opens up Xbox chat tool to help fight child exploitation

15th January 2020 0 By Jordan Heal

To counter risks of child exploitation Microsoft has opted to share its Xbox chat monitoring tool with external companies.

It is known as ‘Project Artemis’ and is based on a technique the tech giant has been using on its flagship console.

The program was developed in collaboration with Thorn, The Meet Group, Kik and Roblox.

The project identifies key words, speech patterns and suspicious messages which are then analysed by a human moderator who then has to decide whether to take action such as contacting relevant authorities to handle the situation.

If a request for images that may involve child abuse is subsequently discovered, the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children will be alerted.

Artemis has been in development for more than 14 months and began in November 2018 during Microsoft’s ‘360 Cross-Industry Hackathon’.

Thorn, a nonprofit technology company which works to prevent child sexual abuse online, will be administrating the program.

The grooming detection technique has been used on Xbox consoles for several years and the tech behemoth has been exploring its use case in chat services such as Skype.

“Child sexual exploitation and abuse online and the detection of online child grooming are weighty problems,” write Microsoft.

“But we are not deterred by the complexity and intricacy of such issues.

“On the contrary, we are making the tool available at this point in time to invite further contributions and engagement from other technology companies and organisations with the goal of continuous improvement and refinement.”

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