Challenges of Using Software to Fight Human Trafficking

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Seth and JJ talk about the challenges of using software to fight human trafficking, most notably on the Internet. Software tools like MEMEX and those produced by Thorn are essential in making connections across many forms of data, but algorithms can only do so much, and false positives and false negatives can occur. Sex and labor trafficking require different software approaches. Software targeting sex traffickers can analyze ads and forum postings across the web. Assessments and audits of supply chains are one way of using software to address labor trafficking. Humans will remain essential in collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data. Seth explains software concepts. And JJ questions the effectiveness of demand reduction approaches on the Internet for sex trafficking (while not talking about demand reduction for labor trafficking). Sources: Ashton Kutcher Testifies to Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Speaker for the Living Memex Helps Find Human Trafficking Cases Online, Human Trafficking Center How the Global Economy Fosters Human Trafficking, Stefano Zamagni The Economics of Human Trafficking, Institute for Faith, Work & Economics Spotlight, Thorn Software that detects human trafficking, The Economist Assessments, Verité Maurice Middleberg, Free the Slaves Our Research, Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking Photo: DARPA

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