Introducing the Google.org Fellowship

Introducing the Google.org Fellowship


JULIE CORDUA: Thorn is
focused on building technology to end online
child sexual abuse. Google.org has been our
partner from almost inception of this organization. One of the most brilliant
things about this partnership is that we went to them
with an idea, an idea that technology could
radically transform the way we respond to child sexual abuse. And they invested. And they said, let’s try it. Let’s see what we can do. CHELSEA SEABRON: At Google.org
we bring the best of Google to nonprofits tackling some
of the world’s toughest challenges. Our grantees often
tell us that one of our most valuable
resources here at Google is the support and advice
from our volunteer Googlers. But our grantees,
they’re solving really complex problems. So we wondered, how
could we do even more? We’re so excited to
share that we have since created the Google.org
Fellowship, a pro bono program that matches Googlers
with nonprofits for up to six months
of full-time work. JULIE CORDUA: And while
child sexual abuse is a human problem, the growth
rate and the normalization and the democratization of
abuse is a technical problem. And these children deserve
the best and brightest minds and technology working
on their behalf. When we look at child sex
trafficking in the United States, we’re talking
about 150,000 escort ads posted every single day. So the problem is when you have
that massive amount of data, how do you sift through
all of that data to pinpoint the most vulnerable? JULIAN BHARADWAJ: So my
role inside the Fellowship was that of a data
scientist, slash analyst, slash general data guy. That meant taking the vast
amounts of data that they had and beating it down
to some shape and form that our engineers could
actually use and then build some experimental
models and evaluation metrics on top of that. BRIA KING: I was excited to have
the Google.org Fellows join us, because we are a
very small team. We didn’t really
have the opportunity to experiment with
our data currently in a way that would have allowed
us to determine if this was something that we would
even be able to do and be able to provide to
law enforcement. JULIAN BHARADWAJ: I
have learned so much, because we worked at this very
accelerated and really well joined team. We tried and failed so many
times in the beginning. I have learned so much more. There is also the component
of working so closely with an engineer. I’ve learned so much more
about their challenges. It was really amazing to see
people that have dedicated their lives and said, this
really difficult problem is what I’m going to focus on. It was working with those people
that I’ll remember the most.

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