Throughout history, human trafficking has been difficult to fight. Vulnerable individuals fall victim of national and transnational organized crime networks that are motivated of the high profits human trafficking turns. Moreover, online abuse has skyrocketed in recent years, including materials related to child sexual abuse.
AI tools and deep learning models can support law enforcement’s fight by automatically recognizing harmful materials at higher speed and larger scale than humans ever could, while also reducing agents’ exposure to harrowing images.
The retail component of this type of crime means that human ads are made publicly available on social media, chats, web pages, etc. to facilitate purchases. AI programs are trained to identify patterns in those ads, such as specific types of descriptions or offers about what that person allegedly does, to be able to discern between genuine sex ads and trafficked victims.
Simultaneously, AI capabilities are also paving the way for a shift in the approach to tackling human trafficking, moving away from locating victims and extricating them from their traffickers to being able to identify and track larger crime organizations, be it through building tools to reveal hidden patterns of irregular financial activity or by mapping their communications. Thousands of victims have been freed in recent years by law enforcement aided by this technology.