Patrick is a professor at The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), specialized in behavioural biometrics. Aiba is a result of 7 years of research led by Professor Patrick Bours.
Back in 2016 a sextorition story with a tragic outcome sparked Patrick’s interest: Fourteen-year-old Amanda Todd met an adult male online, pretending to be an eighteen-year-old boy. She was later extorted and harassed with the threat of exposing intimate photographs she had shared.
Knowing that keystroke dynamics could tell something about the age and gender of a person, the idea of Amanda was born.
Since then, the focus moved to detection of predatory conversations based on text. This was already a topic high on the research agenda in 2012, but all research was done from a forensic point of view; analyzing full conversations after the fact. Useful for investigations but not preventive.
Based on the idea of a proactive system, Patrick’s research has mainly been on early detection of cyber grooming conversations with two main goals in mind: As early detection as possible while maintaining privacy. Major progress has been made on both goals with Amanda: only the last message in a conversation is analyzed at any time and on average only 20 lines of text are needed to detect a predatory conversation.