PRESS RELEASE: The Swedish Royal Couple, together with Childhood and Global Child Forum, to host an expert meeting on how AI can prevent child sexual abuse

STOCKHOLM, Sweden – 18 November 2019

  • Software that can find, and stop grooming directed towards children, in real-time.
  • A program that can analyse and categorize millions of photos, including child sexual abuse material, within minutes.
  • A tool that can take what seems to be incomprehensible background noise and extract conversations and transcribe them into text in order to identify and rescue the children in the video.

All of the above is possible with the help of artificial intelligence (AI), but much work remains before AI can be used to its fullest potential in order to prevent child sexual abuse. With the goal of examining this in more depth, the Swedish Royal Couple, together with their organizations, the World Childhood Foundation and Global Child Forum, are holding a roundtable meeting on AI and child safety online on November 20th  at the Royal Palace in Stockholm.

“The purpose of The AI & Child Safety Online Roundtable is to gather global experts who work with AI and child abuse online specifically and those who work with AI in other areas. This meeting will allow participants to challenge and inspire each other, with the goal of creating new partnerships and increasing the number of actors and resources currently prioritizing this issue,” said Cajsa Wiking, Secretary General of Global Child Forum.

Some 40 representatives from the corporate sector, research institutions, law enforcement agencies, international multilateral organizations, and children’s rights organizations will be attending the invitation-only meeting. Participants include representatives from Interpol, Swedish and international law enforcement agencies, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and IBM in addition to leading researchers within AI.

AI is already being used successfully to prevent and investigate child abuse online, but perpetrators are constantly finding new ways to misuse technology for their own purposes. Increasingly sophisticated technology and faster internet speed have resulted in new forms of abuse and an alarming increase in the spread of abuse materials. Therefore, new, innovative approaches are necessary to work faster and more collaboratively in order to fight this crime. We must take advantage of the fantastic potential of AI to protect and strengthen children. Our roundtable is a step in that direction,” said Paula Guillet de Monthoux, Secretary General of Childhood.

The spread of abuse materials online increases exponentially. The New York Times published new data on how over the past 20 years, the number of reported cases of suspected child abuse online has increased from 3000 (1998) to 18.4 million reports (2018)*. In all likelihood, the situation will further deteriorate when broadband internet becomes widespread in the world’s poorest countries.

* https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/09/28/us/child-sex-abuse.html

Contact information

Åsa Andreasson Åkerström, Head of Communications at World Childhood Foundation

Telephone: +46 73 687 7006, E-Mail: asa.andreasson@childhood.org

 

Linda Ravin Lodding, Head of Communications at Global Child Forum

Telephone: +46 72 387 02 48, E-Mail linda.lodding@globalchildforum.org

About Global Child Forum

Founded in 2009 by the Swedish Royal Family, Global Child Forum is a leading forum for children’s rights and business dedicated to innovative thinking, knowledge-sharing and networking. Global Child Forum believes in the power and responsibility of business, working in partnership with all parts of society, to create a prosperous, sustainable and just society for the world’s children. In addition to forums, Global Child Forum delivers research perspectives, best practices and risk assessment tools designed to unlock opportunities for business to integrate children’s rights into their operations and communities. For more information, please visit: www.globalchildforum.org.

About World Childhood Foundation

World Childhood Foundation envisions a world where all children are free from violence, sexual abuse, and exploitation. Founded in 1999 by H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden, WCF invests in the development of solutions to prevent and address child sexual abuse and exploitation. For more information, please visit: www.childhood.se