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IBM Patents Predator Identification

There is now a patent for that. IBM has just been granted the rights to a technology that describes "Predator and abuse identification and prevention in a virtual environment".

According to the document, the patent covers "techniques for protecting a child user from inappropriate interactions within an immersive virtual environment" in which those actions may be determined by "examining characteristics of the interactions between a child and another user", "by monitoring physical signs of stress in the child", or "by receiving software commands given by the child to signal discomfort in a particular situation". Once detected, the technology may take action by "notifying the parents of the child, altering the virtual world to end the interaction, or notifying authorities of the behavior of the other user."

The detection of threatening behavior could be focused on keywords that would indicate "violent or threatening language, obscenities, requests for personal information, sexual questions or proposals, drug-related language, offers of business transactions, and the like", IBM said. The software can also "detect actions directed at the child's avatar which may be abusive, such as an attack by another avatar, rude gestures by another avatar, stalking, etc.," and may be connected to a "video or still-image camera configured to analyze facial gestures of the child, an audio processor configured to analyze the child's voice, sensors measuring the child's heart rate and breathing rate, a electrical resistance measurement of the child's skin, and the like."