Intel-powered AI helps find missing children

Artificial intelligence can shorten the time it takes to get a lead about a missing or exploited child to the right authorities.  

Last year, the FBI reported 465,676 entries for missing children in the United States.1 Many of those children are runaways—either from their homes or the care of a social services agency.

A nonprofit organization serves as a clearinghouse for critical information that can help find these children. When electronic service providers detect suspicious activity that might be a clue to locate a missing child, they pass the tip on to the organization, where analysts attempt to pinpoint a physical location for the suspected perpetrator and then deliver that information to the proper law enforcement agency as quickly as possible.

The volume of tips is massive. Last year, the organization received 8.2 million tips, which were prioritized and reviewed by a team of only 25 analysts. Some of the tips come from identifying child pornography images that have been tagged with a technique known as hashing, which can help track illegal images as they circulate online between pedophiles.

To help solve this problem, Intel is furnishing high-power computing to help make analyzing the tips more efficient and more manageable. Bob Rogers, Intel’s chief data scientist, leads the effort.

Rogers explained how Intel uses advanced technology to help find missing and exploited children.

Bob Rogers: “We designed an enterprise data strategy that allowed them to integrate literally hundreds of different databases and data sources. We modernized their IT infrastructure with new architecture, and new hardware will help the organization process cybertips. We accelerated their ability to identify a red flag in an image by 70 times.”

Question: The organization receives an incredible number of tips every day, and that volume is only expected to grow. What accounts for the growing number?

“We’ve loaded hundreds of thousands of past cases that the analysts have already analyzed and we are using that as the training data to create a model that can take data from the report—think IP addresses, phone numbers, text—and determine the physical location of the suspect.”

- Bob Rogers,
Chief Data Scientist, Intel

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