Ashton Kutcher Talks To '48 Hours' About His Fight To End Child Sex Trafficking

"You can build a tool that allows one person to save a lot of people."

Last year,  actor and A Plus co-founder Ashton Kutcher spoke about his work combatting child sex trafficking before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and made headlines across the country.  In a 48 Hours episode released this weekend, CBS News dug deeper into the issue and Thorn, a nonprofit co-founded by Kutcher that leverages technology to fight child sexual exploitation.

As Kutcher explained to 48 Hours, Thorn's digital focus allows the organization to have a larger footprint — and to rescue more victims.

"You can roll up your sleeves and go try to be like a hero and save one person or you can build a tool that allows one person to save a lot of people," he said in the episode.

Thorn's "most widely adopted tool," Spotlight, is used by thousands of police officers to identify child sex trafficking victims, according to Julie Cordua, Thorn's chief executive officer. She spoke to A Plus about the impact made by the organization's technology in a previous interview.

"Spotlight uses natural language processing and machine learning to help sift through hundreds of thousands of ads daily to surface those that may be children," she told A Plus. "Our more recent tool, Solis, deploys similar technology to find children whose abuse material is distributed on the Dark Web."  

Kutcher, who noted that he as trouble discussing trafficking without getting emotional, told 48 Hours that Spotlight and Thorn are now identifying 5 victims a day.

"And our algorithms are getting better — we're getting smarter — we're getting the tool in more people's hands."

Watch a clip from the investigation below.



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