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CCC/Code 8.7: Applying AI in the Fight Against Modern Slavery

by   Nadya Bliss, et al.

On any given day, tens of millions of people find themselves trapped in instances of modern slavery. The terms "human trafficking," "trafficking in persons," and "modern slavery" are sometimes used interchangeably to refer to both sex trafficking and forced labor. Human trafficking occurs when a trafficker compels someone to provide labor or services through the use of force, fraud, and/or coercion. The wide range of stakeholders in human trafficking presents major challenges. Direct stakeholders are law enforcement, NGOs and INGOs, businesses, local/planning government authorities, and survivors. Viewed from a very high level, all stakeholders share in a rich network of interactions that produce and consume enormous amounts of information. The problems of making efficient use of such information for the purposes of fighting trafficking while at the same time adhering to community standards of privacy and ethics are formidable. At the same time they help us, technologies that increase surveillance of populations can also undermine basic human rights. In early March 2020, the Computing Community Consortium (CCC), in collaboration with the Code 8.7 Initiative, brought together over fifty members of the computing research community along with anti-slavery practitioners and survivors to lay out a research roadmap. The primary goal was to explore ways in which long-range research in artificial intelligence (AI) could be applied to the fight against human trafficking. Building on the kickoff Code 8.7 conference held at the headquarters of the United Nations in February 2019, the focus for this workshop was to link the ambitious goals outlined in the A 20-Year Community Roadmap for Artificial Intelligence Research in the US (AI Roadmap) to challenges vital in achieving the UN's Sustainable Development Goal Target 8.7, the elimination of modern slavery.


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