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How SafeToNet is Leveraging Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analytics and Deep Learning to Keeping Children Safe on Internet and Social Media

Hayley Nast , Leading Edge Only
08 May, 2017
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London – May 5, 2017 – There are over 83 million people on Facebook who are not who they say they are, according to Richard Pursey, CEO of UK-based SafeToNet (, one of the innovators featured on LEO, the innovation marketplace ( SafeToNet is using A.I. enabled technology to help parents protect children from cyberbullying, aggression, abuse, sexting and other predatory risks on social networks.   

In a podcast interview for journalists, Pursey discusses his company’s next-generation solution for keeping kids safe online which recently distinguished itself as a leading “e-safety company” by winning First Prize in the BT Infinity Lab competition in November of 2016.

“We’re stepping up to the challenge of cyberbullying, abuse, aggression, sextortion, grooming and other predatory risks that we all aware of and especially on social networks,” Pursey says.  “Most of us are familiar with parental control systems, which sadly are just not good enough.  All they do is block access to harmful websites – they do not work in the social networking or messaging layer of activity.  SafeToNet does.” 

SafeToNet, which launched in the first quarter 2017, uses self-learning algorithms that leverage data mining, pattern recognition and natural language processing to mimic the way the human brain works. It blocks harmful messages before they are seen and identifies grooming, radicalization and other predatory risks. “We built this artificial intelligence environment – it’s a cognitive computing system where we mix natural language processing with Big Data analytics all in a machine-learning environment,” Pursey says. 

The company accomplishes this through the use of deep learning techniques and neural networks that compare new information in real time to a teaching set of data that SafeToNet developed from extensive academic and scientific research.  The more data SafeToNet is exposed to, the more it learns, and the more accurate the software becomes over time.

“These are all great trendy words – we get that, but they’re fundamentally vital to what we do, because they allow us to automatically contextualize the messages that children are sending and receiving on social networks,” Pursey says.  “By doing that we can detect anything that’s harmful and block it before it’s seen and before the damage is done.”   

Eighty-five percent of what SafeToNet does is in the cloud, the rest is a downloadable Android or iOS app.  While parents have the ability to remotely control and manage their child’s device, or even block individual apps, Pursey has a clearly defined sense of the line between a child’s safety and his/her privacy.  “SafeToNet does not snoop into children’s online activity because they have rights too,” he says.

“This is where a lot of companies have got it wrong because they don’t respect children’s privacy,” he continued.  “We think it’s vital because children are very, very clever.  They’ll know more about technology than you or I ever will ever know.  It’s important to get their hearts and minds into it – to understand it’s not about snooping or prying – it’s about keeping them safe from the people they know instinctively are out there.” 

To listen to the LEO podcast interview with Pursey visit:

For more on how SafeToNet is contributing to the burgeoning Innovation Economy, visit:

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