AI against Modern Slavery (AIMS)

The AIMS project leverages modern artificial (AI) techniques to help analyze corporate reporting data and promote compliance with modern slavery laws. Over time, this can lead to a viable global solution in the fight against modern slavery.

Logo of the project and photo of a man carrying heavy bricks on his head.


In 2020, Adriana Bora and The Future Society partnered with Walk Free to launch phase 1 of the AIMS project. Building on work already carried out by Walk Free, WikiRate, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, the goal of the project was to create a methodology for analyzing statements produced by private companies under the UK Modern Slavery Act.

Today, more than 50 million people live in circumstances involving slavery-based practices. One such practice is forced labor, a type of exploitation often embedded into corporate supply chains. Unfortunately, the complex world of supply chains is particularly opaque, which has enabled the widespread use of forced labor.

Human rights organizations use various indicators to assess  the prevalence of this problem. According to the international human rights group Walk Free, G20 countries import USD$468 million worth of products annually – including electronics, garments, palm oil, solar panels, textiles and other everyday goods - considered to be at risk of being produced by forced labor.

The Modern Slavery Acts (MSA)

The United Kingdom and Australia were among the first countries to adopt laws on modern slavery. Many other countries have joined them or are considering similar legislation. 

Modern slavery laws generally require large companies to publish annual reports outlining their efforts to eliminate slavery from their supply chains. This transparency helps governments and citizens hold the private sector accountable and advocate for change, both locally and globally.

The Challenge With Corporate Reporting

In the UK alone, an estimated 12,000 to 17,000 statements on modern slavery are published each year. Australia received around 3,500 statements in its first reporting cycles, and these numbers are expected to rise. Without adequate resources, governments and NGOs struggle to properly review this volume of information. As a result, many statements remain unanalyzed. 

As more countries adopt modern slavery laws, the number of statements submitted annually is likely to increase. However, the lack of proper analysis can significantly weaken the impact of the law and hamper efforts to address modern slavery. 

Phase 1 of the AIMS project

The Concept

The AIMS project was initiated in 2020-2021 as part of a master's thesis by Adriana Bora, one of the 20 Rising Stars in AI Ethics and one of the Top 100 Romanians Living Abroad in the science category. A social scientist passionate about leveraging machine learning for social good, Adriana Bora began researching how AI could play a role in eliminating modern slavery.

Using data science, machine learning techniques like natural language processing (NLP) and computational linguistics, the first phase of the AIMS project looked for methods that would enable swift and comprehensive analysis of MSA reports. These methods could help users to obtain valuable information about slavery statements, which would be an essential step towards improving transparency within corporations and fostering continued progress in the global fight against this pressing challenge.

Facts and outcomes of phase 1

In phase 1 of our research, our primary objective was to tackle challenges associated with modern slavery reporting data. This phase encompassed tasks such as ascertaining which statements warranted analysis, gathering modern slavery statements, securing access to these statements, extracting text from them, and identifying ground truth data. Furthermore, we executed initial data-driven experiments aimed at mitigating the constraints of our ground truth data. Additionally, a series of machine learning experiments were carried out on this dataset.

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Women working in a textile factory.
Phase 2 of the AIMS project

Phase 2 Objectives

The AIMS project has engaged with two of the world’s most renowned AI and data science research organizations: Mila and Australia’s Queensland University of Technology (QUT)’s Centre for Data Science for the next phase of its research.

Using the Australian Modern Slavery Act as a test case, the goal is to explore how cutting-edge AI can be used to compare thousands of private sector statements.

The objectives are to

  • Examine the feasibility of equipping governments, NGOs and industry with a robust solution capable of analyzing large volumes of company reported data.
  • Gather insights that will help authorities and companies better understand where to focus resources to improve corporate MSA compliance.
  • Equip citizens and investors with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about the companies they engage with.

The AIMS project also hopes to inspire others to apply their expertise, whether in software engineering, data science or social sciences to the field of AI in the fight against modern slavery. 

Take part in phase 2

The goal of the AIMS project is twofold: empower civil society and legislators to hold businesses and governments to account; and pave the way for a new type of public policy and legislation, which embraces the full power of data mining and processing.

Nicolas Miailhe, Co-founder and President, The Future Society

Get Involved

The AIMS project is a unique opportunity for organizations and companies that believe in the power of social change. Join us and play a leading role in the fight against modern slavery in corporate supply chains. By supporting the second phase of the project, you will be aligned with other leading industry partners.

  • Mila is already working on a wide range of research projects with Fortune 100 companies such as Microsoft, Meta, IBM, and more.
  • QUT collaborates with a range of industrial, government and academic partners to explore important research challenges. 
What We Need

We are seeking to fund the planned 2-year Phase 2 research project using Australia’s Modern Slavery Act as a test case.

Partners can help us create valuable open source research and lay the groundwork for a long-term, data-driven solution for monitoring compliance and tackling modern slavery.

Why Support Us?

Partnering with the AIMS project goes beyond supporting research. It’s an opportunity  to drive forward important change that can have a tangible impact.

  • Work with other global partners and play a leading role in the fight against modern slavery.
  • Expand philanthropic efforts in a meaningful and impactful way.
  • Broaden existing corporate social responsibility objectives and meet  consumer and investor expectations.
Mila Members
Portrait of Mirko Bronzi
Senior Applied Research Scientist, Applied Machine Learning Research
Portrait of Arsène Fansi Tchango
Machine Learning Manager, Applied Machine Learning Research
Portrait of Bruno Rousseau
Senior Applied Research Scientist, Applied Machine Learning Research
Portrait of Pierre Luc St-Charles
Senior Applied Research Scientist, Applied Machine Learning Research
Portrait of Allison Cohen
Senior Manager, Applied Projects
Portrait of Benjamin Prud'homme
Vice President, Policy, Safety and Global Affairs, Leadership Team
Portrait of Jérôme Solis
Senior Director, Applied Projects
Other Members
Kerrie Mengersen (Director of the QUT Centre for Data Science)

News and Recognition

Project AIMS - Artificial Intelligence against Modern Slavery (The Future Society)
IRCAI UNESCO AI Award 2021 – Adriana Bora for Project AIMS (The Future Society)


Introducing Project AIMS (AI against Modern Slavery)
Notebooks: AI Against Modern Slavery (AIMS) Project
Notebooks developed as part of the AIMS project from April 2020 to June 2021.
Global Slavery Index
Walk Free's Global Slavery Index, the world's most comprehensive data set of modern slavery.
GPAI – Montreal Summit: Panel Project AIMS
The AIMS project was selected as a promising use-case of responsible AI for Social Good at the Global Partnership on AI (GPAI) Montreal Summit 2020.
AAAI Conference Proceeding Publication
AI against Modern Slavery: Digital Insights into Modern Slavery Reporting - Challenges and Opportunities.
UN World Data Forum 2021
Panel: Measuring and combatting modern slavery with data-driven solutions in times of a pandemic.
UN World Data Forum 2020
Giving Voice to Hidden Populations: Measuring & Combatting Modern Slavery With Data-Driven Solutions.
The Good AI Conversation
Panel: Can AI enable a more sustainable supply chain?

Have questions about the project?