This new technology analysis can go the extra mile in pinpointing and locating the exact area where terrorist outfits film their hostages or broadcast their messages from. Over the past couple of years, since the advent of brutal terrorist group ISIS emerged, an increasing trend of uploading ghastly videos of beheadings and executions have been uploaded on social media.
Since the terrorist outfits have upped their game, researchers have also stepped up to counter such activities. The algorithm is being developed by students of the Ramon Llull University in Barcelona, cross references the video with a broad database of known footage in order to determine the location.
“Our system does not make any assumptions regarding the location of the videos, but in these cases we are given very valuable additional information to limit the searches, as we already know that we are dealing with the area of Iraq or Syria, and therefore, we would only use reference videos from there,” explained Xavier Sevillano, one of the study’s authors.
Still in the early stages of its development, the technology has yet to produce fruitful results. It located 3% videos included within ten kilometers of their location and 1% of the videos were located within just a kilometer of their location. All this was part of a study experiment.
Since the technology is dependent on archive footage, if the terrorists film a video from within a compound or building or a place where previous footage does not exist in the archives, it could not track the location. Eliot Higgins, a research fellow at the Centre of Excellence in Terrorism, Resilience, Intelligence and Organised Crime Research (CENTRIC) remarked when asked to comment about the video technology,“In a small number of cases it might make it easier to find a search location, but it seems like those instances where we’ve located Jihadis to within a few feet of a specific location there’s still going to have to be additional work.”