GRACE pilot update

News -

GRACE’s 2nd pilot successfully concluded towards the end of last year. The pilot was developed in 3 distinct exercises:

From 17th – 21st  October: an initial one week exercise was held in Lisbon (Portugal), at the premises of Policia Judiciaria (PJ). This exercise had the goal of piloting individual artificial intelligence (AI) tools, to evaluate their performance against a curated validation dataset and to define an annotated a dataset of child sexual explicit material (CSEM) images and videos to be used for training and validation of more AI tools. With 9 officers from 5 Member State law enforcement agencies (LEAs), 2 officers from Europol,  5 researchers from GRACE technical partners and 2 technical support staff from Europol, the exercise achieved the following outcomes:

  • 16 different AI tools were piloted covering all file modalities (image/video, text, audio)
  • A defined annotation scheme for CSEM that cover a wide range of detection/classification needs and annotated a large dataset of CSEM images/videos with a high level of granularity

From September until November an exercise took place where the focal point was federated learning (FL). This session had the primary goal of piloting a FL framework that would prove the concept of remote and decentralized training of machine learning (ML) algorithms and took place across 6 different servers based in 4 different partner locations: Cyprus Police, PJ, VICOM and CERTH.

The delivered functional FL training environment enables multiple parties to work concurrently, providing DL models and data, the technician can oversee the training process and make adjustments as necessary, and the MS LEAs can provide the data and utilise the trained models in a way that is mutually advantageous while maintaining privacy and security.

From 28th - 30th November: the final exercise took place once again at the premises of Policia Judiciaria (PJ) in Portugal.  A large group of 9 officers from 5 Member State LEAs, 2 officers from Europol, 1 officer from an external LEA , 11 researchers from 6 GRACE technical partners and 2 technical support staff from Europol, came together to pilot an integrated collaborative GRACE platform, where individual tools have been integrated and offered via a complete interactive platform.

The officers evaluated the platform via 4 different scenarios:

  1. Managing NCMEC reports
  2. Processing a variety of media types and automatically extracting elements via ML algorithms
  3. Analysing data automatically extracted from NCMEC reports
  4. Generating crime statistics/trends reports

The technical partners collected user feedback in the form of structured questionnaires and unstructured conversations. From this created improvement milestones were established which will be followed until the end of the project in order to implement as many as possible.

Check back for future updates on the pilots, key milestones and events planned.