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Marinus Analytics anti-human trafficking biometrics selected for finals of IBM AI competition

Company will present its final pitch later this year


Car­negie Mellon University biometrics and big data spinoff Marinus Analytics has been selected as the lone American finalist for the $5M IBM Watson AI (artificial intelligence) XPRIZE Competition.

The company will present its technology in a final pitch later on this year for a chance of winning the $3 million grand prize.

The IBM Watson AI XPRIZE Competition aims to demonstrate how humans can work with AI to tackle global challenges.

The initiative first opened its doors in 2016, counting 780 submissions, and over the last four years, the entries were gradually narrowed down, to include the technologies more fitting to win the $3 million grand prize, as well as the $1 million runner-up prize and the $500,000 prize for third-place. By 2017, the companies left in the competition were 147, representing 22 countries. Now, the three finalists in the latest edition of the competition have been announced.

Canada’s Aifred Health utilizes a mix of best-evidence guidelines and AI-based insights to enable better treatment management in healthcare, while Israel’s Zzapp Malaria uses AI to locate malaria hotspots and works to eliminate the associated risks.

Marinus Analytics specializes in the creation of artificial intelligence and facial recognition solutions to assist law enforcement in tackling human trafficking around the world, launching a biometric solution to identify missing persons in 2017. Marinus Analytics uses Amazon’s Rekognition for face biometrics.

“We are thrilled to have earned recognition for our efforts to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to assist law enforcement in the global battle against human trafficking,” commented Marinus Analytics President and Co-founder Emily Kennedy. “We plan to use any prize money we are awarded to supercharge our ability to find victims and detect the largest organized crime rings globally and expand our innovation to child protection and cyber fraud.”

Marinus Analytics was founded in 2014, and through the use of its Traffic Jam tool, it has helped law enforcement discover and stop organized criminal networks by deploying graph analytics detailing their illegal activities.

Moving forward, the company said it will expand further to reach new areas of society.

“We are excited to expand our efforts into new areas, including building tailored tools to help social workers, enriching outcome analysis, and enhancing motivational interviewing in the field,” commented Cara Jones, CEO, and Co-founder of Marinus Analytics. “We will also empower government agencies who enforce cybercrime regulations with the information they need to identify the largest streams of cyber fraud and online scams. These new areas will continue our strong mission of protecting the vulnerable and ending systemic exploitation.”

Marinus Analytics, together with Aifred Health, and Zzapp Malaria will present their final pitches for the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE competition later this year.

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