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Explicit Image Detection

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There's a small item in today's business paper about a software application released today by the Dutch firm LPO Raolfi. Depending on its configuration it can either scan disks or sniff internet traffic for particular and highly specific byte patterns. The application monitors data byte patterns and their groupings, and by using statistical analysis is able to determine whether there are signifcant percentages and groups of flesh-toned bytes being transmitted. The most excessive and constant files could be investigated for obscene material which may or may not be legal depending on the user's location.


Further delevopment is planned to indicate the ethnic makeup of the flesh tones, although it is not thought to be possible to differentiate between male and female images. It is hoped that the software, which is available to private and commercial operators, could be refined to establish whether any images contained depictions of under-age persons.


Now that is going to cause a few people to quake in their boots (but not Piriform forum members, surely). If you haven't had a heart attack yet, I suppose I could finish off with today's date in some complex anagram to put you at ease. But then curiosity struck me. What if this software really exists? So I Googled the subject and there it was: Access Data's Explicit Image Detection, part of their forensic toolkit. So there's my cruel humour down the pan, and a lot of people back to panicking.

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I can't imagine the complexity needed for an algorithm that successfully distinguishes non-explicit pictures (e.g. a picture of someone's face) and "explicit pictures", whatever that means (porn ? naked people ? blood ?).

Anyway, even if it existed it wouldn't prevent people from watching porn :P

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