Dr. Pless receives $1M DOJ grant to help fight human trafficking

December 03, 2018

The US Department of Justice has awarded Dr. Robert Pless a three-year, $1 million grant for the project “An Object-Centric Approach for Image Analysis to Combat Human Trafficking.”  Images are often part of a criminal investigation, but for questions such as “Where was this image taken?” investigators are often limited to using generic tools designed for different purposes, like Google reverse image search.  The purpose of this project, developed with feedback from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, is to develop novel deep learning approaches to index, search, and visualize imagery, and to deploy these in a prototype search tool with a focus on fighting human trafficking.