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In context: There's no denying that prison can be a pretty rough place for the inmates that live there. Solitary confinement, the lack of personal autonomy, and the ever-present risk of physical violence are just a few examples of that. However, one could argue that working is one of the least-destructive parts of prison life - it lets inmates remain productive and keep their minds off of their situation.
When you think of prison jobs, you probably think of laundry duty, kitchen detail, or even janitorial work. Now, though, tech startup Vainu is turning that perception on its head by giving some prisoners a decidedly more modern role to play in the outside world's economy.
The company, as reported by The Verge, is partnering up with two prisons and Finland's Criminal Sanctions Agency to bring AI training jobs to a handful of inmates in Vurtu and Helsinki.
Inmates who are given these jobs will be teaching AIs to to better handle Finnish data by reading through various articles pulled from the web and label what they're about.
An example task, The Verge says, might be an inmate determining that an article is about Apple the tech company and not a fruit company with the word "apple" in its name. Though these distinctions are usually obvious to humans, AIs tend to struggle with them - at first, anyway.
Right now, this whole concept is still in its early stages, and it remains to be seen how viable it will be in the long run.