Startup Launches Kickstarter Campaign to Build Apps that Protect Kids’ Privacy while Alerting Parents to Sexual Predation, Bullying, Suicidal Talk or other Dangerous Behaviors
NEW YORK– Artimys today launched a $50,000 Kickstarter campaign for developing parental monitoring apps that helps children maintain their privacy while also alerting parents to suspicious or dangerous activity in their child’s messages. Originally developed for and beta tested on Facebook, the planned companion apps will use machine-learning techniques for monitoring a child’s text-based messages from popular social media platforms, and then alerting parents to any messages containing potentially serious threats.
“There’s a fine line for parents between protecting their children and spying on them”
The first app planned for the Kickstarter funding is Spitball, which acts as a messaging inbox on Android phones for children. Spitball aggregates all of the child’s social activity from sites like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, SMS/MMS and more all in one place.
The algorithms built into Spitball will help spot potential dangers and are based on thousands of real-life situations of threats to children – from bullying to sexual predation. As the system monitors messages, it lists all strong potential concerns and sends them to the parent or guardian. Unlike systems that monitor for key words and thus provide many false threat readings, Spitball’s built-in intelligence will provide contextual review so only likely threats will be flagged.
“Artimys’ approach demonstrates the power and promise of applying machine learning to deliver an effective, easy-to-use solution that keeps parents in control without compromising the trust between parent and child,” said Bruce McCorkendale, a beta user, parent and Internet security executive.
Spitball’s companion app, Fireball, resides on the parent’s Android or iOS phone. Fireball receives messages from the child’s Spitball app with information including social activity. It also highlights and presents to the parent only those threads and messages considered dangerous. Fireball’s unique sensitivity settings allow parents to determine and adjust how much content they see. For younger children, parents may choose the highest sensitivity level, for instance.
“There’s a fine line for parents between protecting their children and spying on them,” explained Bob Dillon, Artimys Founder & CEO. “Spitball and Fireball let parents decide how much they want to see, and our system alerts them when messages should be of concern based on their content, not just key words.”
Potential supporters of the Kickstarter campaign can view and use the Artimys Guardian Facebook app for free now through April 30th. This app demonstrates the power of the Artimys Technology and serves as a preview for Spitball. The Kickstarter campaign will help Artimys continue its work, supporting the creation of Spitball and Fireball to protect children on virtually all messaging services on their Android smartphones.
The key to Spitball and Fireball is that both are designed to keep the lines of communication open and forge greater trust between parent and child. Rather than “hovering,” parents can get involved when messaging activities pose any amount of risk.
When released to the public, the Spitball app is expected to sell for $10, with the companion app, Fireball, free for parents.
“Parents think nothing of spending $20 or $30 on covers and screen protectors that protect their kids’ phones, so it should be a no-brainer for them to spend a one-time fee of $10 to protect their kids from the dangers they could face while using that device,” Dillon said.
ABOUT ARTIMYS LANGUAGE TECHNOLOGIES
Artimys Language Technologies is a technology company with deep expertise in intelligent, online child-protection products. With expertise in Linguistics, Artificial Intelligence and Data Processing, Artimys created a new category of online security for children and the parents who care about them. Visit us at www.artimys.com, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for general inquiries. To learn about partnering with Artimys, connect with us at email@example.com. You can also connect with us on Facebook at Artimys Language Technologies and Twitter @ArtimysTech.