Skip to content

A milestone in tech for good: Thorn’s Head of Data Science takes the stage at AWS re:Invent

December 13, 2023

2 Minute Read

Last week at the 2023 AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, Thorn took to the event’s main stage for a significant moment that helped bridge the gap between cutting-edge technology and social responsibility: Dr. Rebecca Portnoff, Thorn’s Head of Data Science, joined AWS CTO Dr. Werner Vogels for his keynote to highlight Thorn’s pivotal role in using technology to combat child sexual abuse.

See Thorn’s Dr. Rebecca Portnoff on the Keynote Stage at AWS re:Invent

There wasn’t an empty seat in the room during Rebecca’s portion of the keynote, which you can now watch here if you missed it live. The talk centered on our fierce fight to defend children from sexual abuse using technology. 

Beginning with a powerful, true story about a real victim of child abuse, Rebecca explained how Safer’s proactive detection technology led to the discovery and rescue of the child, highlighting the real-world impact of Thorn’s technological interventions. 

Dr. Rebecca Portnoff on the mainstage at AWS re:Invent

Rebecca also elaborated on the development and continuous improvement of our CSAM classifier – a game-changing technology that helps advance our work to defend children from sexual abuse. 

Thorn + AWS: A critical collaboration

A key piece of the presentation was an emphasis on the collaboration between Thorn and AWS – and how Thorn’s close partnership with AWS and use of its cloud services are vital in scaling up solutions to enable the use of AI technology for the greater social good. 

Dr. Rebecca Portnoff speaking at AWS re:Invent

This presentation was more than a highlight of Thorn’s technological know-how and mission; it was a call to action. With nearly five thousand people in the room, it was a big moment for Thorn to reach others who have the power and ability to defend children using technology. And the strong, positive reaction to Rebecca’s talk when it concluded was a powerful testament to the importance of our mission, and of the role we can all play in creating a safer digital world for children.

Watch the talk now

Missed it? You can now watch the full video of Rebecca’s presentation here – and, when you’re done, sign up for the Thorn newsletter to stay in the loop about the latest developments in technology’s role in protecting children.

Stay up to date

Want Thorn articles and news delivered directly to your inbox? Subscribe to our newsletter.