Finnish startup uses prisoners to train artificial intelligence

Finnish artificial intelligence startup Vainu has been actively using prison labor to train machine intelligence for the past three months.

Previously, Vainu partnered with the Amazon Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing exchange, which hired remote employees to collect information needed to train artificial intelligence. However, later, the founder of the startup Tuomas Rasila found a more profitable partner in the person of the Finnish Criminal Sanctions Agency - CSA, which is also in charge of the organization of labor in prisons.

Vainu suggested that CSA recruit prisoners from two prisons in Helsinki and Turku to search for news articles on specific topics, so that they can then use the obtained data to train artificial intelligence. In the future, with its help, companies will be able to contact contractors. How it works? For example, a trained AI will no longer confuse articles about Apple with materials about apples.

For the work done, Vainu donates money to the CSA, which then distributes it to the inmates. As a result, they receive a little less than they could receive through Mechanical Turk due to the fact that part of the funds is taken by the intermediary - CSA.

The CSA claims that by working with an AI start-up, inmates acquire professional skills that can be useful to them after their release.