New AI research project investigates migrant trust and inclusive digital public services

Researchers are investigating what trustworthiness means for migrants in the digital age and how digital public services could be made more inclusive using multimodel conversational AI

In the photo: Silas Rech (left), Johanna Ylipulli, Tom Bäckström, Viivi Eskelinen and Nitin Sawhney. Image: Matti Ahlgren/Aalto University

The Trust-M project, a collaboration between the City of Espoo, Aalto University, University of Helsinki, and Tampere University in Finland, aims to address the challenges of trust, immigration, and digital public services. The project focuses on understanding how trust is perceived among migrants in relation to digital services and aims to design hybrid human-AI digital services that incorporate culturally constructed notions of trust. The goal is to develop a multimodal and conversational AI system that migrants can use to access relevant information and engage with public service providers more effectively.

As Finland experiences an increase in foreign-language residents, it is crucial to develop inclusive services that meet the diverse needs of migrants. The project aims to improve integration efforts and support the civic agency of migrants by leveraging emerging knowledge from experts and migrants themselves, promoting multilingual dialogue, and ensuring the competence, inclusivity, and trustworthiness of AI-based systems. The insights and new knowledge from academia are seen as essential for building relevant and trustworthy services in the public sector.

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