Seoul develops AI technology to fight digital sex crimes against children

An aerial view of Seoul City Hall / Courtesy of Seoul Metropolitan Government

The Seoul Metropolitan Government said, Wednesday, that it has developed artificial intelligence (AI) surveillance technology capable of identifying and detecting digital sexual exploitation content targeting youth. The city government believes the technology’s introduction will help combat digital crimes against children automatically on a 24/7 basis.The Seoul Institute, a research center established by the Seoul city government, started developing the technology in March last year and completed the project this month.The initiative comes after the city government first introduced AI technology that automatically surveils and tracks digital crimes last year.The city government’s newly developed technology can quickly determine whether the victim in sexual exploitation content is an adult or a minor. In the case of the latter, many cases go unreported because victims often have difficulties telling their parents about the crime, the city government explained.According to the Seoul Digital Sex Crime Victim Support Center, which is a city-led organization that provides aid to the victims of digital sexual exploitation, only 7.8 percent of digital sex crimes against youth are reported by victims.Due to the nature of the crime, digital sexual exploitation content tends to spread quickly without being investigated.

Under the Act on the Protection of Children and Youth against Sex Offenses, sexually exploitative content featuring children can be immediately removed from platforms without the consent of the victim or their parents.Thus, the newly developed technology system, which can determine the age and gender of the youth, based on AI deep learning facial recognition technology, will be effectively used to quickly monitor and detect content displaying the sexual exploitation of minors and delete them preemptively.Notably, the technology takes only 90 seconds from inserting keywords to detect illegal video content, which is around 80 times quicker than before, when a person needed to manually search for sexual exploitation content for an average of two hours. The accuracy is also enhanced by over 300 percent, the city government explained.With the introduction of the new technology, the city government will be able to automatically monitor some 300,000 cases of sexual exploitation content, which is nearly double last year’s manual monitoring of 156,837 cases.Meanwhile, two alums of Seoul National University (SNU) have been arrested for digital sex crimes on Telegram, reigniting public outrage over the notorious Nth Room scandal from 2019, Tuesday.According to the Cybercrime Investigation Unit of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, a 40-something man, identified only by his surname Park, and a 31-year-old man surnamed Kang, were arrested for illegally producing and distributing pornographic content containing images of female SNU students on Telegram since 2021.The two had collected multiple images of female SNU students from their social media accounts and made them into sexually explicit content. Park and Kang are also accused of revealing the 카지노사이트킹 victims’ personal information in group chats.

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