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Microsoft rolls out Project Artemis to fight online child predators

Microsoft Corp. released a new tool, called Project Artemis, to detect, address and report online predators attempting to lure children for sexual purposes.

The company's chief digital safety officer, Courtney Gregoire, said in an official blog post that the tool, developed in collaboration with Meet Group, Roblox Corp., Kik and Thorn, will be made freely available to qualified online service companies that offer a chat function.

The technique, which is applied to historical text-based chat conversations, evaluates and rates conversation characteristics and assigns an overall probability rating. The rating can then be used as a determiner as to when a flagged conversation should be sent to human moderators for review.

Human moderators can then identify imminent threats for referral to law enforcement, as well as incidents of suspected child sexual exploitation to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, according to the blog post.

Starting Jan. 10, licensing and adoption of the technique will be handled by Thorn, Gregoire said, adding that the work on the project started in November 2018 at a Microsoft "360 Cross-Industry Hackathon."