Domestic violence has been an issue of pressing concern to the Thai government
and while they have been making progress, group data scientists might just have
found a way to make the situation drastically better. As machines are incapable of judging, they find people are more willing to talk about sensitive issues with machines.
A group of tech
experts are developing a new
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
chatbot to help victims of domestic violence more easily access the justice
system and counselling programmes as the problem balloons in Thailand.
Studies have shows
that people live in fear of judgement and may be more embarrassed to relay the
whole truth about the sensitive and often, humiliating, experience. Victims in
this highly distressed state often experience many complex emotions. Some fear
the pity that falls upon them when they relay their experiences and others do
not understand why the person that they are relaying their experience to, does
not show any pity or any emotion for that matter.
This is where the AI
machines are brought into the picture when it comes to domestic violence. People
understand that they are speaking to just a machine. Perhaps they know that the
machine has near human intelligence, but being just a machine, they know that it
is not capable of showing any emotion and is therefore, incapable of judging
them. Due to this, they are able to talk more frankly and honestly of their
experiences. They are able to get into the details of the attack and even talk
freely about the way they feel about it.
The AI machine, being
developed by a group of tech experts from Telenor Asia including Winn
Voravuthikunchai, is aimed at promoting and introducing the use of robots for carrying
out social change. “This game-changing initiative is a big step for Thai
social projects in adopting state-of-the-art technology to solve social problems
When the AI machines receive the information
from the victims, the social institutions involved will be able to better help
the victims. With more information received, they are able to identify the
abusers with better accuracy and ease. Sentences and punishments can also be
meted out without distressing the victim even further as the AI not only tracks
the information, but also records it for future use.
The AI machines are also able to effectively
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) level of the victims and often
times, they are sent for counselling. The AI helps in easing the process by
analysing the victim not just based on the content of their experience, but also
by analysing the emotions in their voice and even the length of each breath.
This analysis helps
counselling agencies get a better idea of the victim’s emotional state and
pre-assessments become shorter. The victims are then counselled more
effectively since there already is an understanding of their condition.
The research driving AI technology has been
increasing exponentially in the last decade. With AI taking over in many
different aspects of society, there is a demand to use it to elicit social
change. Although the research for AI for domestic violence is only in its
beginning stages, Thailand remains optimistic when it comes to the
possibilities it could have on the social issues.