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AI Crime

Spanish Chatbot Hunts For Pedophiles 186

Posted by timothy
from the how-do-you-feel-about-justin-bieber dept.
cylonlover writes "For a number of years now, police forces around the world have enlisted officers to pose as kids in online chat rooms, in an attempt to draw out pedophiles and track them down. Researchers at Spain's University of Deusto are now hoping to free those cops up for other duties, and to catch more offenders, via a chatbot that they've created. Its name is Negobot, and it plays the part of a 14 year-old girl." (Read the original source, in Spanish).
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Spanish Chatbot Hunts For Pedophiles

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  • by Tastecicles (1153671) on Thursday July 11, 2013 @08:55AM (#44249229)

    What could possibly go wrong?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If you are a robot you have to tell me...

  • by Tanuki64 (989726) on Thursday July 11, 2013 @08:59AM (#44249259)

    ...which passes the Turing test.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      LOL, a Turing test designed to persecute people for expressing their socially unacceptable sexuality? Alan would have a fit.

      • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Thursday July 11, 2013 @09:53AM (#44249897)
        Not to mention the fact that a 14 year old girl would have absolutely no chance of passing the Turing test.
        • Not to mention the fact that a 14 year old girl would have absolutely no chance of passing the Turing test.

          The problem though is that pedophiles are experienced and know how to evade traps. They're like cochroaches -- for every one you find, there's fifty more you don't. And considering that western society likes to lock these people up and let them be raped and murdered, instead of studying what the glitch in their wetware is to devise a treatment, or treating their prisoners with compassion... there is a major incentive to not come forward if you're one of the afflicted... and being so afflicted... still more

      • by Cenan (1892902)

        Technically, they're trying to prosecute people living out their socially unacceptable sexuality. Though, instead of wasting resources doing that, why not just market the damn thing to lonely pedophiles instead, they can chat up 14 year old digital girls, and our kids won't have to be bothered by it, win-win.

        • by hedwards (940851)

          Because they want pictures of under aged girls or to have sexual contact with underage girls. Just chatting with girls and boys in that fashion is creepy, but not generally illegal.

            At least that's how it is in the US, I would presume that's somewhat similar in Spain.

      • by xaxa (988988) on Thursday July 11, 2013 @10:16AM (#44250177)

        I knew I'd read somewhere about Spain's age of consent being 12.

        It turns out they raised it to 16 just a few weeks ago: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/10089339/Spain-to-raise-age-of-consent-from-13-to-16.html [telegraph.co.uk]

        Hopefully they'll be more careful about the law than is the case in the UK -- where the age of consent is 16, but the official guidance to the police is not to worry about consensual relationships between similarly-aged teenagers below that. It's better to have that in the law, like in Germany (where, AIUI, lower ages are permitted so long as there's not too much age difference).

        • by Damnshock (1293558) on Thursday July 11, 2013 @12:17PM (#44251727) Homepage

          It's still 13 legally. What you are refering is a proposal to change it.

          If aproved, it can show up curious situations when you can legallyl get married at the age of 12 and you won't be able to have sex until you are 16? (in case you married an older and adult partner)

          • by dgatwood (11270) on Thursday July 11, 2013 @01:08PM (#44252467) Journal

            This making it even more bizarre that this bot would pretend to be above Spain's legal age of consent. What am I missing?

            Everything about this story is wrong:

            • The notion that being attracted to a 14-year-old girl (almost invariably post-pubescent) qualifies as pedophilia is completely absurd. There is not a straight adult male alive who, when faced with a sufficiently attractive and mature-looking 14-year-old, would not find her attractive. Thus, some degree of attraction to teenagers is normal male behavior. Mind you, most adults have the good sense not to jump in bed with them, but that doesn't mean the attraction isn't there. Anyone who says otherwise is kidding himself/herself.
            • A bot (or a LEO) seeking out people and enticing them in the hopes that one of them will say "Okay, she's hot and worth the risk of jail" is a legally dubious action and is completely contrary to the stated goal of protecting kids. I'd wager that 99.999% of the people entrapped by such a bot would never go near any true kids (defined as pre-pubescent), period, because there is zero correlation between being attracted to teens and being attracted to kids. And most of those folks would not go out of their way to hit on a 14-year-old IRL, either. Given that most 14-year-old girls do not make it a point to trick adult males into having sex with them, this means that those adult males are doing something that they almost certainly (statistically) would not otherwise have done were it not for law enforcement involvement, which meets the strictest definition of entrapment as far as I can tell. But creating such a bot in a country when the act they're trolling for isn't even illegal? Priceless.

            I mean, this whole concept borders on the same level of s**t-for-brains stupid as those people who troll boards trying to stir people up to become terrorists and then put them in jail under the premise that if law enforcement could get them into that state, so could real terrorists. But the thing is, unless those real terrorists had a high probability of doing so, you're really just putting people in jail for being gullible, not for actually harboring any terrorist tendencies.

            At this point, our world is rapidly verging on jailing people for thoughtcrime—crimethink, if you will. Are we really to the point where the goal is to lock up everyone who isn't of above-average intelligence with near-godlike self control? Is that actually supposed to make our kids safer in some bizarro universe? Could someone please explain to me why the people who came up with this bot should not be jailed themselves as an example to others who would abuse their power?

    • by sootman (158191)

      It's actually not that great. It just says 'OMG' and then like 15 emoji.

    • ...which passes the Turing test.

      Maybe for the purposes of these bots it should be referred to as the "Cruising" test.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Man.. this bot is going to get laid more than I do, and it's specifically designed to NOT get laid..

  • by Anonymous Coward

    unfortunately, in Spain the "undercover agent" is illegal. So, either this bot created at Deusto University (my university, btw) or Flu Ad are great projects that can not be used by Spanish police.

    Flu AD is an open source Trojan software designed to infect computers used by pedophiles. It succeeded at least in one case in South America (I don't have the details) and have been studied by Spanish police.
    More on Flu AD:
    - http://www.slideshare.net/rootedcon/juan-a-calles-y-pablo-gonzlez-metasploit-fluad-avoidin

  • by yooy (1146753) on Thursday July 11, 2013 @09:16AM (#44249423)
    14 years would be legal age in Germany.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ages_of_consent_in_Europe [wikipedia.org] And if I can trust the link, it is 13 in Spain...
  • 14 year old? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zedrick (764028) on Thursday July 11, 2013 @09:17AM (#44249435)
    How will the bot catch pedophiles if it pretends to be a 14 year old girls? Pedophiles won't be very interested, instead it might, in best/worst case, attract hebephiles. Or just normal teenage boys.
    • by richlv (778496)

      thanks for mentioning this - there are too many evil and stupid people crying out "think of the children" and throwing around 'paedophilia'... when it's totally wrong.

      for those who have missed it, paedophilia is being sexually attracted to prepubescent humans. for example, that's small girls who haven't even show a sign of breasts appearing (not sure about boys... boy choirs might fit, as they want boys with "undamaged" voices).

      so 14 is at least a couple of years too late in most cases...

    • by PNutts (199112)

      hebephiles

      Every time I see that word I think of Shemp.

  • Spain? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Thursday July 11, 2013 @09:17AM (#44249439) Homepage

    Age of consent in Spain is 13 though they plan to raise it [telegraph.co.uk]. Seems like a 14 year old is an odd choice to emulate for that reason.

    That said, an AI capable of simulating a 14 year old girl? Hard to imagine they could even simulate a 5 year old successfully. This doesn't seem like a good use of a universities resources.

    • by tompaulco (629533)

      That said, an AI capable of simulating a 14 year old girl? Hard to imagine they could even simulate a 5 year old successfully. This doesn't seem like a good use of a universities resources.

      Yes, a 14 year old girl at what time of day and what day of the week and which week of the month? If you can show me a 14 year old girl that acts the same for more than 20 minutes, then I might believe they could come up with an AI for one.

  • a/s/l? (Score:5, Funny)

    by FatLittleMonkey (1341387) on Thursday July 11, 2013 @09:25AM (#44249495)

    version/language/repository?

  • by johanw (1001493) on Thursday July 11, 2013 @09:37AM (#44249653)

    Fortunately, entrapment is illegal in a lot of countries. And "intent" is not always what counts. I read that that in The Netherlands someone who was having sexually oriented chats with a police officer posing as a child was cleared in court. The judge said that because the police officer was over 18 he did nothing illegal, and that he may have intended something illegal didn't make it so.

    To make the car comparison: if I intend to drive too fast and believe I do so dus to a defective meter but in fact I am driving at a legal speed I can't get a ticket.

    • by Xest (935314) on Thursday July 11, 2013 @10:14AM (#44250157)

      This is what I was wondering, doesn't this sort of thing risk giving real criminals an excuse too?

      If intent is relevant then with the prevalence of police officers posing in this manner and now bots, couldn't a real criminal just claim "I assumed nowadays that they were all just chatbots or above age of consent officers" if caught chatting to someone who is underage?

      It seems to be a dangerous precedent to set. If the police have to prove intent how can they prove he didn't now believe it was a bot or an officer and hence not illegal?

      • by mark-t (151149)
        While intending to break the law without actually breaking it may be legal, the lack of any intention to break the law does not typically excuse one from actually breaking it.
        • It depends on the type of law. Driving offences are generally "Strict liability" crimes, requiring only the act (actus reus.) But many offences also require intent (mens rea), usually defined in the original law. Ie, robbery might be defined as "taking property with intent to deprive the rightful owner", and both act and intent must be proved.

          Of course, in practice...

        • by Xest (935314)

          Whilst in the past I'd agree, I don't think that's true anymore, in fact here in some of the UK some of the laws specifically require intent and intent is in the very title of the charge when charged.

          "Intending to incite racial hatred" for example.

          If the crime is in itself a crime of intention then the onus on the police is to prove intent.

          Of course it makes more sense to just remove such laws full stop, but there you go.

      • by tompaulco (629533)
        That's what I always wondered about when they arrest guys for soliciting for prostitution when in fact they did not actually solicit a prostitute, but a police officer who had no intention of accepting money for sex. The intent to commit a crime may have been there, but a crime was not committed. Well, I guess the police officer technically committed a crime of false advertisement.
  • Just wait until these slut-bots start falling to buffer overflows, SQL or shell injection attacks, or whatever.

  • by SGDarkKnight (253157) on Thursday July 11, 2013 @09:57AM (#44249935)

    Shall we play a game?

    • by 1s44c (552956)

      Shall we play a game?

      "What a strange game, the only winning move is not to play." - Or something like that, it's been a while since I saw that film.

  • for a moment there i mispronounced the name of the magazine as "jizzmag" and thought that it was rather inappropriate....
  • by rlp (11898) on Thursday July 11, 2013 @10:22AM (#44250251)

    Spanish police have an APB out for suspects named 'Eliza', 'Perry', and 'A.L.I.C.E.'

  • âoeChatbots tend to be very predictable. Their behavior and interest in a conversation are flat, which is a problem when attempting to detect untrustworthy targets like pedophilesâ

    Maybe I am a bit jaded from recent experience but...

    After spending some time this weekend trying to play an online video game with a relative of that age, I have trouble seeing the problem. Trying to explain to him how what he was doing in game was ruining the fun for my wife and I reminded me quite a bit of talking to a

  • by middlehead (2980489) on Thursday July 11, 2013 @10:48AM (#44250555)
    If it's posing as a 14 year old, they're not targeting pedophiles.

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