Technology Saves Lives

| April 30, 2018

An article from Futurism highlights Emily Kennedy, a young woman who created a software program to detect victims of human trafficking and save them.

Usually we might think of technology as the part of the problem for human trafficking, but Kennedy found a way to use online advertisements for sex to detect faces and match them to missing persons notices. Her software program, Traffic Jam, can also process data from photos to detect locations that human traffickers may return to. The program is 88% effective at this point and is spreading to other countries to find more human trafficking victims.

That Kennedy’s company, Marinus Analytics, can use technology to aid in human trafficking relief efforts is significant because technology is much more efficient at processing data than a human person. Since traffickers move often to avoid detection, the speed that technology provides is part of what makes the program so effective.

Futurism notes at the beginning of the article that Kennedy had not considered this kind of work as she neared graduation from college. However, her passion for helping victims of human trafficking led her to an avenue when she connected with engineers and technology experts at her university and saw how technology could make a difference for victims.

Kennedy received the 2018 Mothers of Invention grant from Toyota, a grant that recognizes women who are making a positive difference in the world through innovation. She is a role model for any individual, but especially college students considering what difference they can make in the world around them with the talents and passions they have been given.