What does a 16-year-old American traveling across Eastern Europe do when she sees young kids begging on the street and learns they are there because of Russian human traffickers?
For Emily Kennedy, co-founder of Pittsburgh-based Marinus Analytics, that experience was her introduction to the horrendous world of human trafficking, which exists everywhere on Earth and encompasses men and women, but especially young girls, who are forced into everything from prostitution to petty street crimes.
And why should anybody working on Capitol Hill know about this millennial?
Kennedy and her business partner, Cara Jones, spun Marinus Analytics out of Carnegie Mellon Robotics in 2014 as a woman-owned business and they have since built quite an amazing operation through investigating “how AI can turn big data online into actionable intelligence.”
What that means is this, according to Marinus Analytics: “We know that it’s not just about data: it’s about people. Behind massive data streams are the individuals who create them.
“Whether it’s a dealer posting drugs for sale online, a criminal behind thousands of financial transactions, or a victim behind millions of adult advertisements…we pinpoint the person in the data.”
And that “actionable intelligence” derived from the data stream enables law enforcement to swing into action to stop criminal activity and the slavery and suffering that enables it. That is cool.
There are a lot of folks working on Capitol Hill who spend a great deal of time and resources thinking about and acting against human trafficking. This young woman has a great deal to say that can help advance such efforts.
Kennedy’s work is motivated by her Christian faith and her understanding from it that every human being has intrinsic value as a child of God. She was interviewed earlier this year by Mikel Del Rosario of the Dallas Theological Seminary’s The Table broadcast: