05 July 2022
by Sarah Wray
Victims of violence seeking help often have to repeat their experience over and over to multiple people. This can exacerbate trauma.
A project in Mexico proposes to tackle this using artificial intelligence (AI).
Figures from the National Statistical Office INEGI show that: two-thirds of women in Mexico have experienced some form of violence, with nearly 44 percent having experienced abuse from a partner.
The project explores the use of AI-based speech-to-text transcription to reduce the need to share disturbing details over and over and speed up the reporting process.
Guadalajara Pilot Program
A pilot in the city of Guadalajara is in the planning stage. Information would be stored on a platform accessible to authorized officials. AI can also be used to automate violence level assessments to ensure that women receive the right support quickly. In the future, it could be developed to simplify the process of submitting a legal report, which is currently lengthy.
“The proposal is to auto-fill the required forms to shorten the experience and prevent women from being victimized again,” said Juan Roberto Hernandez, general coordinator at fAIr LAC Jalisco, who is leading the project. He spoke at the recent Cities Today Institute City Leadership Forum in Barcelona.
Regional Alliance fAIr LAC Jalisco is an Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) initiative that brings together public, private and civil society organizations to advance the ethical and responsible use of AI in Latin America. It includes Tecnológico de Monterrey University, innovation agency C Minds and the Mexican state of Jalisco. The projects are mainly aimed at social services.
Trust of the public
Despite the potential benefits, there is also: raise awareness of the need for caution when using AI in public services. Furthermore, in Latin America and the Caribbean, confidence – including in government – is lower than in any other region in the world, according to a IDB report†
“As we develop pilots, an important question is how we can protect people’s digital rights, privacy and confidentiality,” says Hernandez. “There were many sources telling us that this is very important, but nothing showing us how†
Other FAIR LAC Jalisco pilots have used AI to identify the factors that influence high school dropout and to detect and prevent diabetic retinopathy. The recently concluded diabetes trial took place at three health centers and more than 100 cases were detected through previous screening of 1,000 participants.
First, fair LAC Jalisco has established an Ethical Risk and Governance Committee composed of experts in ethics, law, data governance, and cybersecurity. They advise and oversee the implementation process of AI use cases.
Hernandez said existing tools are not detailed enough.
“They didn’t cover all aspects of digital rights and ethical governance,” he said.
The partners are compiling a toolkit based on best practices from organizations such as IDB and UNESCO.
It includes an Ethics Review Matrix, an Ethics Report, an Implementation Matrix, Informed Consent and Privacy Statements and Data Suspension Process Templates.
When communicating with the public, a key challenge, Hernandez says, is “finding the balance” between overloading people with technical information and showing them how to effectively manage privacy, security and ethics.
“We have to analyze every situation to find the best moment and the best way to explain it,” he said.