The technology industry has recently come under fire for not doing more to tackle child sex abuse, but Google has now unveiled a free artificial intelligence tool, which will help to identify abuse images on the web.
In a company blog post, engineering lead Nikola Todorovic and product manager Abhi Chaudhuri wrote: "Quick identification of new images means that children who are being sexually abused today are much more likely to be identified and protected from further abuse.
"We're making this available for free to NGOs and industry partners via our Content Safety API, a toolkit to increase the capacity to review content in a way that requires fewer people to be exposed to it."
The move has already been welcomed by the Internet Watch Foundation, which seeks to reduce the availability of child sex abuse images online.
Susie Hargreaves, CEO of the UK-based charity, said: "We, and in particular our expert analysts, are excited about the development of an artificial intelligence tool which could help our human experts review material to an even greater scale and keep up with offenders, by targeting imagery that hasn't previously been marked as illegal material.
"By sharing this new technology, the identification of images could be speeded up, which in turn could make the internet a safer place for both survivors and users."