Tag Archives: child

Microsoft shares new technique to address online grooming of children for sexual purposes – Microsoft on the Issues

Online child exploitation is a horrific crime that requires a whole-of-society approach. Microsoft has a long-standing commitment to child online protection. First and foremost, as a technology company, we have a responsibility to create software, devices and services that have safety features built in from the outset. We leverage technology across our services to detect, disrupt and report illegal content, including child sexual exploitation. And we innovate and invest in tools, technology and partnerships to support the global fight needed to address online child sexual exploitation.

In furtherance of those commitments, today Microsoft is sharing a grooming detection technique, code name “Project Artemis,” by which online predators attempting to lure children for sexual purposes can be detected, addressed and reported. Developed in collaboration with The Meet Group, Roblox, Kik and Thorn, this technique builds off Microsoft patented technology and will be made freely available via Thorn to qualified online service companies that offer a chat function. Thorn is a technology nonprofit that builds technology to defend children from sexual abuse.

The development of this new technique began in November 2018 at a Microsoft “360 Cross-Industry Hackathon,” which was co-sponsored by the WePROTECT Global Alliance in conjunction with the Child Dignity Alliance. These “360” hackathons are multifaceted, focusing not just on technology and engineering but also on legal and policy aspects as well as operations and policy implementation. Today’s announcement marks the technical and engineering progress over the last 14 months by a cross-industry v-team from Microsoft, The Meet Group, Roblox, Kik, Thorn and others to help identify potential instances of child online grooming for sexual purposes and to operationalize an effective response. The teams were led by Dr. Hany Farid, a leading academic who, in 2009, partnered with Microsoft and Dartmouth College on the development of PhotoDNA, a free tool that has assisted in the detection, disruption and reporting of millions of child sexual exploitation images and is used by more than 150 companies and organizations around the world.

Building off the Microsoft patent, the technique is applied to historical text-based chat conversations. It evaluates and “rates” conversation characteristics and assigns an overall probability rating. This rating can then be used as a determiner, set by individual companies implementing the technique, as to when a flagged conversation should be sent to human moderators for review. Human moderators would then be capable of identifying imminent threats for referral to law enforcement, as well as incidents of suspected child sexual exploitation to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). NCMEC, along with ECPAT International, INHOPE and the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), provided valuable feedback throughout the collaborative process.

Beginning on January 10, 2020, licensing and adoption of the technique will be handled by Thorn. Companies and services wanting to test and adopt the technique can contact Thorn directly at [email protected] Microsoft has been leveraging the technique in programs on our Xbox platform for several years and is exploring its use in chat services, including Skype.

“Project Artemis” is a significant step forward, but it is by no means a panacea. Child sexual exploitation and abuse online and the detection of online child grooming are weighty problems. But we are not deterred by the complexity and intricacy of such issues. On the contrary, we are making the tool available at this point in time to invite further contributions and engagement from other technology companies and organizations with the goal of continuous improvement and refinement.

At Microsoft, we embrace a multi-stakeholder model to combat online child exploitation that includes survivors and their advocates, government, tech companies and civil society working together. Combating online child exploitation should and must be a universal call to action.

Learn how to detect, remove and report child sexual abuse materials at PhotoDNA or contact [email protected]. Follow @MSFTissues on Twitter.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Employing data science, new research uncovers clues behind unexplainable infant death – Microsoft on the Issues

Imagine losing your child in their first year of life and having no idea what caused it. This is the heartbreaking reality for thousands of families each year who lose a child to Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID). Despite decades-long efforts to prevent SUID, it remains the leading cause of death for children between one month and one year of age in developed nations. In the U.S. alone, 3,600 children die unexpectedly of SUID each year.

For years, researchers hypothesized that infants who died due to SUID in the earliest stages of the life differed from those dying of SUID later. Now, for the first time, we know, thanks to the single largest study ever undertaken on the subject, this is statistically the case.

Working in collaboration with Tatiana Anderson and Jan-Marino Ramirez at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Edwin Mitchell at University of Auckland, we analyzed the Center for Disease Control (CDC) data on every child born in the U.S. over a decade, including over 41 million births and 37,000 SUID deaths. We compared all possible groups by the age at the time of death to understand if these populations were different.”

In our study published today in Pediatrics, a leading pediatric journal, we found that SUID deaths during the first week of life, were statistically different from all other SUID deaths that occur between the first week and first year of life. SUID cases in the first week of life have been called SUEND, which stands for Sudden Unexpected Early Neonatal Death. We have called SUID deaths between 7-364 days postperinatal SUID.

The two groups – SUEND and postperinatal SUID – differed by several factors such as birth order, maternal age and marital status. For postperinatal deaths, the risk of SUID progressively while the opposite was true for SUEND deaths where firstborn children were more at risk. Postperinatal SUID rates were higher for unmarried, young mothers (between 15-24 years old) at birth, while unmarried, young mothers of the same age showed a decreased risk of SUEND death. The two groups also had different distributions of birthweight and pregnancy length.

Our study concluded that SUID deaths in the first week differed from postperinatal SUID deaths and that the two groups should be considered separately in future research. Considering these two as different causes may help uncover independent underlying physiological mechanisms and/or genetic factors.

This research is part of Microsoft’s AI for Good initiative, a $125 million five-year program where we utilize AI to help tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges and helping some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. For this research, we leveraged our machine learning, cloud-computing capabilities and advanced modelling techniques powered by AI to analyze the data.

By pairing our capabilities and data scientists with Seattle Children’s medical research expertise, we’re continuing to make progress on identifying the cause of SUID. Earlier this year, we published a study that estimated approximately 22% of SUID deaths in the U.S. were attributable to maternal cigarette-smoking during pregnancy, giving us further evidence that, through our collaboration with experts in varying disciplines, we are getting to the root of this problem and making remarkable advances.

We hope our progress in piecing together the SUID puzzle ultimately saves lives, and gives parents and researchers hope for the future.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

For Sale – Lenovo T460s Business Ultrabook Laptop

My wife has asked to sell her laptop. We are expecting the birth of our 2nd child next month so she wants some extra cash to buy furniture for the new arrival etc. She wants £420 (reduced from £470) for it so I could persuade her to include delivery.

The laptop is a Lenovo T460s Business Ultrabook laptop. It still has Lenovo warranty which is on-site repair till 5th December 2019 (1.5 years). Spec is below:

Intel Core i5-6200U Processor (2.30GHz)
8.0GB RAM
1x192GB SSD SATA III
Windows 10 Professional 64Bit
14.0in 1920×1080
Intel HD Graphics 520
720p HD Camera
Card Reader
Fingerprint Reader
TrackPoint with TouchPad
Ethernet
Intel Wireless-AC 8260(2×2 AC) with BT4.1
3 Cell Lithium-Ion
Original Lenovo Charger.

Lenovo Warranty will be transferred to new owner upon receiving payment.

Condition wise I would say is very close to Brand New. She’s only been using it for like surfing the internet and occasional Youtube videos hence why it’s so clean.

Thanks for looking.

Some pics below

Price and currency: 420
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT / PPG
Location: High Wycombe
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – Lenovo T460s Business Ultrabook Laptop

My wife has asked to sell her laptop. We are expecting the birth of our 2nd child next month so she wants some extra cash to buy furniture for the new arrival etc. She wants £420 (reduced from £470) for it so I could persuade her to include delivery.

The laptop is a Lenovo T460s Business Ultrabook laptop. It still has Lenovo warranty which is on-site repair till 5th December 2019 (1.5 years). Spec is below:

Intel Core i5-6200U Processor (2.30GHz)
8.0GB RAM
1x192GB SSD SATA III
Windows 10 Professional 64Bit
14.0in 1920×1080
Intel HD Graphics 520
720p HD Camera
Card Reader
Fingerprint Reader
TrackPoint with TouchPad
Ethernet
Intel Wireless-AC 8260(2×2 AC) with BT4.1
3 Cell Lithium-Ion
Original Lenovo Charger.

Lenovo Warranty will be transferred to new owner upon receiving payment.

Condition wise I would say is very close to Brand New. A handful of light scratches on the top lid and 1 scratch on the bottom which you can feel if you put your finger or nail over it. Screen and keyboard are immaculate. She’s only been using it for like surfing the internet and occasional Youtube videos hence why it’s so clean.

Thanks for looking.

Some pics below

Price and currency: 420
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT / PPG
Location: High Wycombe
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – Lenovo T460s Business Ultrabook Laptop

My wife has asked to sell her laptop. We are expecting the birth of our 2nd child next month so she wants some extra cash to buy furniture for the new arrival etc. She wants £470 for it so I could persuade her to include delivery.

The laptop is a Lenovo T460s Business Ultrabook laptop. It still has Lenovo warranty which is on-site repair till 5th December 2019 (1.5 years). Spec is below:

Intel Core i5-6200U Processor (2.30GHz)
8.0GB RAM
1x192GB SSD SATA III
Windows 10 Professional 64Bit
14.0in 1920×1080
Intel HD Graphics 520
720p HD Camera
Card Reader
Fingerprint Reader
TrackPoint with TouchPad
Ethernet
Intel Wireless-AC 8260(2×2 AC) with BT4.1
3 Cell Lithium-Ion
Original Lenovo Charger.

Lenovo Warranty will be transferred to new owner upon receiving payment.

Condition wise I would say is very very close to Brand New. She’s only been using it for like surfing the internet and occasional Youtube videos hence why it’s so clean.

Thanks for looking. Currently this hasn’t been advertised anywhere else.

Some pics below

Price and currency: 470
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT / PPG
Location: High Wycombe
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – Lenovo T460s Business Ultrabook Laptop

My wife has asked to sell her laptop. We are expecting the birth of our 2nd child next month so she wants some extra cash to buy furniture for the new arrival etc. She wants £470 for it so I could persuade her to include delivery.

The laptop is a Lenovo T460s Business Ultrabook laptop. It still has Lenovo warranty which is on-site repair till 5th December 2019 (1.5 years). Spec is below:

Intel Core i5-6200U Processor (2.30GHz)
8.0GB RAM
1x192GB SSD SATA III
Windows 10 Professional 64Bit
14.0in 1920×1080
Intel HD Graphics 520
720p HD Camera
Card Reader
Fingerprint Reader
TrackPoint with TouchPad
Ethernet
Intel Wireless-AC 8260(2×2 AC) with BT4.1
3 Cell Lithium-Ion
Original Lenovo Charger.

Lenovo Warranty will be transferred to new owner upon receiving payment.

Condition wise I would say is very very close to Brand New. She’s only been using it for like surfing the internet and occasional Youtube videos hence why it’s so clean.

Thanks for looking. Currently this hasn’t been advertised anywhere else.

Some pics below

Price and currency: 470
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT / PPG
Location: High Wycombe
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Robot Avatars Help Sick Children Stay Connected With Schoolmates Using IoT – Internet of Things

When a child facing a long hospital stay must be pulled out of school, the experience of being away from friends and classmates can lead to feelings of isolation and sadness. As school rhythms go on normally for others, the missing student may become a “ghost child” — out of sight and out of mind. And even when they’re healthy enough to return to school, children who’ve missed six or more months of school due to illness often don’t want to go back, fearing they’ve fallen too far behind and may no longer fit in.

But thanks to an elegant little robot, Microsoft Azure and the Internet of Things (IoT), sick children now have a way to be “present” at school, interacting in real time with their teachers and classmates.

The robot, from Avatarion Technology, is designed for children ages 4 to 12 and serves as a child’s 3-D avatar — a physical presence in the classroom that bears the child’s name and sits in the child’s place. Using interactive video communication and remotely controlled movements, the robot becomes the sick child’s eyes, ears and voice at school.

Miles away, at the hospital, the child uses a tablet computer to communicate, send images and control the robot’s movements. The robot’s integrated camera, microphone and speakers let the child see and hear what is going on in class and speak with the teacher and classmates. The software interface on the tablet includes buttons the child can use to communicate gestures and body language via the robot, such as nodding, shaking the head, standing or raising the robot’s hand. These physical movements enable the child to more actively participate alongside peers and feel included in activities in ways that wouldn’t be possible with a simple tablet or computer interface.

The teacher also has a tablet that connects via the robot and can share assignments, images and activity instructions with the child. An optional smart device mounted on the robot’s head enables two-way video communication when desired or can display an image, an emoticon that shares the child’s reaction to something or a message that indicates the child has gone away for a while. Medical staff at the hospital oversee the child’s use of the technology to ensure energy levels and health needs are managed appropriately.

Children in the classroom are naturally drawn to the friendly-looking — and undeniably cool — robot. Familiarity with the use of avatars in video games and the robot’s lifelike ambient movements make it even easier for classmates to adapt to seeing the bot as an avatar for their friend. Having the robot present among the absent child’s peers helps maintain social bonds while the classmate is away and smooths reintegration when the child returns to school. Having contact via the robot avatar also helps teachers keep the child in mind throughout a long absence and keeps teacher-student communication more natural in the classroom setting.

Behind the scenes, Microsoft Azure IoT Hub ties the whole system together, enabling Avatarion system administrators to connect and remotely maintain, update and manage multiple IoT robots and devices from the cloud. Because of the psychological nature of the robots serving as avatars for children, it’s essential that they remain securely up and running and be able to support live HD streaming for up to nine hours a day. IoT Hub telemetry monitors the status of the robots and controllers in the field, and, using Microsoft Stream Analytics along with a Power BI dashboard, the system flags potential issues and sends notifications, such as when a robot’s battery will need to be changed.

Avatarion is the brainchild of social entrepreneur Jean Christophe Gostanian, whose team worked with a child psychologist, a Japanese robot-maker and Microsoft’s Azure IoT team to create the solution. For the past two years, the robots have served as avatars for sick children in schools throughout Switzerland, and the company has plans to roll out the solution to schools, hospitals and children around the world.

As Gostanian and his team look to the future, they’ll continue to explore new ways to incorporate technologies, such as Microsoft HoloLens, to enable even finer control of the robot avatars. His dream is to see robots making lives better for sick children around the world — a dream that can be realized from anywhere, at any scale, thanks to Microsoft IoT.

Tags: Avatarion, Azure IoT Hub, Azure Stream Analytics, Power BI