Three Nigerian students have won a trip to Kyoto, Japan for a forthcoming UN conference, having developed their deep learning model investigators’ solution that could be used to detect child predators prowling on their victims before they strike.

The trio, from Covenant University (CU) and the University of Lagos (UNILAG), participated in the Hackathon4Justice’, a contest aimed at building solutions that “tackle crime and uphold justice.”

The initiative was hosted by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) in partnership with Facebook and Andela, an American software development company.

It witnessed the selection of 50 students from across Nigerian tertiary institutions towards realizing a team that will showcase their solution at the forthcoming UNODC conference in Kyoto, Japan.

The three students, who eventually emerged winners, created Predex, their cybersecurity software, acclaimed to be capable of clamping down on child predators “before they strike. They are expected to leave the country for Japan on April 20, 2020.

“It was a pleasure hosting Hackathon4Justice for the second year running at Andela. The energy that radiated from these young students as they focussed on their projects was incredible,” Omogbolahan Alli, an engineering manager at Andela, said while commending the students.

“Andela is known for being the home of and for celebrating technical excellence; seeing how this group of students tackled the problems they were given, their approach to teamwork, the focus that they had in order to meet the deadlines, was fantastic, and demonstrates that we should be very proud of the future technical talent Nigeria has to offer.”

Predex works by flagging suspicious conversations between children and potential predators, thereby helping authorities and parents prevent cases early enough.

The runnerup team similarly created RecyclAI, a solution that uses artificial intelligence to detect whether e-wastes are recyclable or not.

They added key features like educational blogs, newsletters, and conference meetups to sensitize users about the solutions to e-waste recycling on their web applications.



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