When we hear prison labor, it’s usually linked with physical labor. But here comes Vainu- an AI startup in Finland that is building a partnership to bring about a reform in prisons. The inmates will be trained to work on AI algorithms for Vainu, which says will teach valuable skills for better job prospects.
Many times, people have to go through thousands of business articles to find something they need. As a startup that helps business find contractors to work with, Vainu is building a comprehensive database to ease finding whatever they need. Coincidentally, the Vainu office was situated in the same building as the Criminal Sanctions Agency (CSA) - the agency that oversees prisons in Finland. So, for their labor, they decided to use the prison inmates creating a win-win for both.
A partnership began a couple of months ago and now, Vainu is working with two prisons- one in Turku and one in Helsinki. 10 computers were sent to each of these prisons and CSA reaps the benefits of the tasks completed by the prisoners, which also decides how much of it goes to the inmates.
At the prisons too, the officials were happy about the new offer. “There’s no risk for violence,” says the co-founder of Vainu, Tuomas Rasila. You only need a laptop and no other equipment that can be turned into a makeshift weapon. Surely, AI is finding its way to build new possibilities.