back to article Child protection group's creep-catcher passes Turing Test

An international sting has trapped “international Webcam sex tourists” from 65 countries by using an avatar in place of a 10-year-old child to solicit viewers into asking for on-camera sex acts. The avatar, dubbed “Sweetie”, was developed and operated by the Dutch arm of international group Terres Des Hommes, and was operated …

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Turing?

I have seen nothing to suggest that the people who watched and "encouraged" believed that they were looking at a real person.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Turing?

In other news, researchers were confused to find that roughly 80% of encounters involved the phrase, "I PUT ON MY ROBE AND WIZARD HAT"...

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Re: Turing?

And no proof that those that did contact the site weren't themselves Turing machines.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Turing?

LOL, one of my fav things on bash that convo :)

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So if Sweetie passed the Turing test can legislation be changed to chemically castrate the men that contacted her / it ?

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Anonymous Coward

In countries with no regard for human rights, due process, or justice, sure, why not!

Hell, for that matter, why not just castrate all the intelligent but socially-awkward loners who have male pattern baldness and those creepy little mustaches? Sure, there'll be some collateral damage among train engineers and accountants, but... the children! Think of the children!

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Orchidectomy in humans does not destroy sexuality, of any sort. We had an outpatient who had the operation privately performed - no NHS consultant was willing to touch it - and he was seen months later hanging around schools; similarly surgical removal of the penis is doomed to failure, since (as with female paedophiles) thrill by proxy is possible, in the form of any attack that you can imagine. The human brain is sensitised in these areas before birth, unlike rat neonates which continue the central nervous system process of maturation, in this domain, outside of the womb.

As for 'chemical castration', using e.g. distilbesterol (I'm doing this from memory) results vary. It's not reliable. Something that I've seen but oppose is the use of the polygraph (often wrongly known as the 'lie detector'; it detects behaviours associated with lies, not the lies themselves), and I oppose it because it is also unreliable, generating both false positives and false negatives. In the UK it is used to test paedophiles housed in small supervised communities to see if they've been engaging in the sorts of behaviours that can be termed 'pre-offending'. Any sign of it and they are hoicked back to Broadmoor or some medium secure forensic unit.

Evoked potential (EP 400) work seems to have startlingly accurate results if the proponents are to be believed. I've seen some partisan reviews of the technique, which unnerve me; there is in my experience no absolutely reliable measure of human behaviour, no one to one correspondence between any nucleus or other cell group and another phenomenon.

Personally I favour putting these individuals in communes, built on very isolated islands, places where they can only offend against one another. I'd have no difficulty with them 'enjoying' one another as a substitute for their normal atrocities.

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FWIW

@Philip Clarke: FWIW, I got the reference.

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Childcatcher

@Scorchio!!

I was about to upvote one of your posts (possibly for the first time ever) because you were actually making some sensible, factual comments. And then I read your last paragraph.

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Re: @Scorchio!!

"And then I read your last paragraph."

So you rate his posts depending on whether his expressed opinions match your own? Enjoy a downvote on me.

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Boffin

@Ledswinger - Re: @Scorchio!!

And have a downvote on me for completely missing the point.

He starts by pointing out that chemical castration et al don't work to protect children, but then declares that he's in favour of them raping each other as if that's some sort of "justice".

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Anonymous Coward

"Personally I favour putting these individuals in communes, built on very isolated islands, places where they can only offend against one another."

You Brits tried that once and we ended up with Foster's and the V8 Supercar Series. I wouldn't suggest doing it again.

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Anonymous Coward

"Personally I favour putting these individuals in communes,"

I would rather that we do this with all the children. Once they're born, they get sent off to an island to the caring hands of highly monitored professional to prepare them to join society. Can't molest something that isn't around.

And I'm not just saying that because I've spent the last 17 hours trapped in a large metal tubes and terminal building around several of the little condom accidents.

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Gav

Two wrongs...

"Personally I favour putting these individuals in communes...."

Because they are all exactly as bad as each other, and one criminal committing a crime against another criminal isn't really a crime.

Oh wait... no they're not, and yes it is.

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Anonymous Coward

'The group claims it identified more than 1,000 adults “willing to waste an hour and a half to screw with a bot on the internet"'

FTFY.

Also, does the phrase, "who can therefore be considered “inclined” or predisposed to commit this crime" make the hair on the back of anyone else's neck stand up? Blood run cold? Hackles raise? Stomach twist? That kinda thing?

To say nothing of the fact that his justification has nothing whatsoever to do with entrapment; just because you conclude that the entrapee deserves it doesn't mean that what you did wasn't entrapment. That argument makes as much sense as shooting a guy to death and then saying that because it was self defense, you didn't really kill him!

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I believe certain police forces do it all the time (cf Dread Pirate Roberts).

Maybe that's why they're miffed.

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So if somebody put up an app where you can pretend to drive cars unsafely and shoot prostitutes - that would show an inclination to drive cars dangerously and shoot prostitutes and so those people should be prosecuted.

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You've got to be kidding...

Looking at that Youtube video I cannot believe anyone could possibly think that's a real girl. The CGI is good, but still easily recognisable.

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Re: You've got to be kidding...

Once it's gone through webcam-quality resolution and frame-rate degradation, I wouldn't be so sure.

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Isn't it possible

...that they were just interested in the CGI? Who's actually done anything wrong here?

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Re: Isn't it possible

The perverts who got a thrill from setting up a program to pretend to be and abused child?

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Joke

Re: Isn't it possible

Exactly. Consider this exchange for example (from another article about Sweetie):

'What you want see?'

The user responded: 'U.'

Sweetie replied: 'What u pay for?'

And the user added: 'Naked.'

Obviously he was simply impressed by the quality of the GCI and wanted to see if the rest of the model met the same standards.

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Anonymous Coward

Anyone know how old Siri is?

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The perversity of this infuriates me. They way it is reported as some kind of a triumph of law enforcement. But is it?

Clearly the model is so obviously CGI that nobody could mistake it for a real person. I have seen the video of that model moving/blinking etc on the BBC last night - Alyx from Half-Life 2 has more believable facial expressions than that "Sweetie". Anyone interested in playing with that model would have clearly done that without any intent of harming any real person. This all is simply a fabricated thought crime.

Now, I dislike paedophiles as much as anyone but I said many times in the past and will repeat it again - a paedo wanking in front of a PC screen is a paedo safely off the streets. If you really care about children you must give those people some kind of a vent, otherwise they might as well go for the real thing.

If punishment for a fantasy is just as tough as punishment for the real crime - what incentives do they have to limit themselves to fantasies?

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Anonymous Coward

> a paedo wanking in front of a PC screen is a paedo safely off the streets. If you really care about children you must give those people some kind of a vent, otherwise they might as well go for the real thing.

Damn straight, Vladimir.

Loath as I am to post anonymously, I once made the same suggestion on the Web and got flamed for literally years afterwards. So good luck.

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Anonymous Coward

"Clearly the model is so obviously CGI that nobody could mistake it for a real person."

The 1990's dancing baby is more believable, I would have thought 3d modeling would have moved on more, so I suppose they used a crap artist.

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Anonymous Coward

In the UK

"...that they were just interested in the CGI? Who's actually done anything wrong here?"

Producing / owning / copying / downloading a sexual drawing / CGI / non-photographic image of an underage person is illegal, so I suppose trying to interact with one might be.

The London Olympic company was probably very lucky to get away with their logo, ms perry seemed to miss out on the opportunity.

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Surveillance

" “criminal investigations using intrusive surveillance measures should be the exclusive responsibility of law enforcement agencies” "

Erm , yeah, right.

Meanwhile sitting at the dock of the Bailey . . .

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Surveillance

Colin Stagg, are you reading this?

Pete Townsend?

Jim Bates?

His case plus Op Ore cearly shows how much entrapment makes the evidence can be manipulated to show a crime rather than producing the evidence to show the crrime took place

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Nowhere near passing the Turing Test.

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Anonymous Coward

Truth be known, I've seen some bots that are smarter then some of the people I work with.

anon to protect my paycheck, obviously. :D

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Anonymous Coward

Nowhere near TAKING the turing test.

Sweetie isn't a bot, just an avatar. In other words "she" isn't a computer impersonating a human at all, just one human impersonating a different human with the aid of a computer-generated disguise. I suspect they could actually automate the initial stages very easily, the fact that the character has a limited vocabulary should be a big help. But the part where they con their mark into revealing identifying information probably requires a bit more intellect.

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Fantasy World

The virtual abuse of pseudo-children. A crime? I think not.

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it is interesting that countrys that have no issue with bombing and killing children are so very interested and concerned about the potential sexual abuse of the same children.

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