The Telegraph is reporting that new software to help catch pedophiles by analysing pictures and stories produced by British schoolchildren aged as young as nine will be trialed in primary schools.
The system uses keyword algorithms and image detection software and will automatically alert teachers if the software detects they could be at risk.
Two thousand children at six primary schools in Essex, London, Stoke, Birmingham and South Wales will participate in the trial of the technology ahead of a planned rollout in England and Wales later this year.
Children will create their own “online journals” and interact with cartoon characters, who will prompt them to answer questions about their emotions and their safety online.
“The technology takes the burden off of the teacher and means that children that are falling under the influence of criminals are likely to be noticed,” said Sharon Doughty, founder of Dot Com Children’s charity.
The technology, created by Essex Police, charity Dot Com Children’s Foundation and technology consultancy DataArt, can also detect if a child is being radicalised by racist gangs. Schools will be able to share information with the police or social care services if concerns are raised.
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