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Ethical AI technology to improve survivor support and UK policy

Research project using ethical AI to support modern slavery survivors and improve policy outcomes in the UK.

A collaboration of Aberystwyth University, survivor support charity Causeway, Ethical AI company Trilateral Research (TRI) and a supply chain consultancy FiftyEight, will work together on a research project using ethical Artificial intelligence (AI) to support people with lived experience of modern slavery and influence UK policy.

Researchers on project RESTART (Reporting Experiences of Survivors to Analyse in Real-Time) will work directly with survivors of modern slavery in a research project to better understand people’s support needs.

RESTART will use innovative and ethical AI technology to generate insights to better support people affected by modern slavery through advising on policy recommendations to the government to improve support for survivors and the legal, health, welfare, and housing system in the UK.

RESTART uses AI technology, including natural language processing capabilities, to analyse statements made by survivors in real time. The information used in the AI solution comes from two different sources, the first is from a pre-existing database of survivor testimonies and case notes held by a survivor support charity Causeway. The second is a mobile app developed specifically for this research project, to which modern slavery survivors will input their insights on their well-being and support needs including the type of provisions received through the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) – which identifies and supports people with lived experience of modern slavery in the UK.

The survivor testimonies will be analysed by a web-based application called ‘Honeycomb’, which has been developed by Trilateral Research. Honeycomb will analyse large quantities of data to find key patterns, trends and insights into survivors’ recovery to produce robust recommendations for policymakers.

The close collaboration and expertise of survivors in RESTART is central to the research project’s success and relevancy.

Research team: Prof. Ryszard Piotrowicz, Principal Investigator (Aberystwyth University), Phillip Clayton, Head of Research and Development (Causeway), Dr Julia Muraszkiewicz, Head of Sociotech Insights Group (Trilateral), Quintin Lake, Co-founder, and Director (FiftyEight).

This project was funded by the Modern Slavery PEC following an open call as part of its Responsive Research Mechanism. The Modern Slavery PEC is funded and actively supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Photo: Anastasia Shuraeva via Pexels