Robert Pless is the Patrick and Donna Martin Professor and Chair of Computer Science at George Washington University. His research focus is Computer Vision in an era of big data, especially working to extract useful information from unstructured visual data from webcams, twitter feeds, or smart-phone apps.
Deep Learning to Fight Human Trafficking
Images are important to fighting sex trafficking because they are: (a) used to advertise for sex services, (b) shared among criminal networks, and (c) connect a person in an image to the place where the image was taken. Our project has worked to collect open-source imagery of hotel rooms available on the Internet, and deployed a smart phone app (Traffickcam) to crowd-source additional images from hundreds of thousands of volunteers. This forms a dataset that can be used to understand images that are found in active cases. In this talk I will share our Deep Learning approaches to effectively search against millions of images to find matches to hotels, including lessons learned in visualizing how the network represents images, how to deploy crowd-sourced apps to generate data at scale and insight from widely deploying search tools.