We’ve heard so many belief lately about the bluntly appalling degree to which facial acceptance leads to tracking or aloofness invasions. But a startup specializing in AI is instead leveraging facial acceptance technology to find human trafficking victims.

Marinus Analytics is a startup that licenses technology to law administration with the authentic purpose of angry human trafficking. It’s architect and CEO, Emily Kennedy, created a affairs called Traffic Jam during her time at Carnegie Mellon that uses AI tools to assay victims. Nowadays, Traffic Jam is accessible to any law administration agency that works with Marinus.

According to Marinus’ website:

We find acute affirmation where others don’t, and save detectives hundreds of analytic hours by pointing them to the high-value targets.

Culling data from publicly-available websites — such as websites where you might find escort ads (shudder) — Traffic Jam builds a database of images, phone numbers, and area data which can help assay patterns and evidence. It scrapes the websites every few minutes, acceptation even ads which are deleted or afflicted is still usable.

Kennedy said in an account with  Traffic Jam does a job which would be absurd for humans:

This is an acutely slow and tough manual action that would not for most cases show you all of the ads. One, because of human error, but also because traffickers delete old ads, so they are not on Google and can’t be found.

The aggregation last year added a affection to Traffic Jam called Facesearch, which combs through online photographs and identifies specific victims with the help of facial acceptance software. Law administration admiral can take a photo of the person in catechism and match it to others in Traffic Jam’s databases, which will help them find the victim if their account is being used to acquaint them online (again, shudder).

Amazon’s Rekognition software is the technology behind the facial recognition, and it can also assay altar and activities within a photograph. According to the Rekognition website:

Amazon Rekognition also provides highly authentic facial assay and facial recognition. You can detect, analyze, and analyze faces for a wide array of user verification, cataloging, people counting, and public safety use cases.

We afresh learned Rokognition is also being used by law administration for other purposes — namely, surveillance purposes. While that usage has some ethical dilemmas which other experts in the field have acicular out, the usage of the software to find and potentially help put an end to human trafficking — or at least help its victims — feels far more noble.

According to the International Labour Organization‘s last , over 40.3 actor people were trapped in “modern slavery” in 2016, and one in four of them were children. 4.8 actor of them were trapped in forced sexual corruption — the crime which leads to many of the ads Traffic Jam scrapes for data.

Recently Marinus’ task has become more difficult, as some of the accessible sources — such as Backpage.com, which was seized by the FBI in April — are no longer available.

Every other story about facial acceptance gives the consequence the tech is always being used for rather abashing ends. For example, just in the last few months, it’s been used to spy on bored school children, pick a avoiding out of a crowd of thousands, and anticipate people from giving their accompany tickets to an event.

But this is an archetype of how facial acceptance can be used to help some of the most accessible and preyed-upon people in the world. Many of the victims of human trafficking are children, and any tech that helps accouchement or keeps monsters from affliction them has to have its merits.

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