Aymur AI: measuring gender based violence in Latin America

AymurAI, our first f<a+i>r pilot, is a first step in gathering data on GBV so that machine learning systems can identify the patterns that ultimately may lead to feminicide.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Gender based violence takes on many forms: physical, psychological, economical among others. While the harms are known, the impact of GBV has not yet adequately been measured. The absence of this data in Latin America has led, in part, to the championing of open data initiatives in the judiciary. The aim is to understand GBV from a judicial perspective, as well as foster a more transparent, innovative and accountable judiciary.  AymurAI is the first pilot project, developed by Data Género in Argentina initially as a paper: “Feminisms in Artificial Intelligence: Automation Tools Towards A Feminist Judiciary Reform in Argentina and Mexico”, through  to a successful “Prototype  for an open and gender-sensitive justice in Latin America – AymurAI”    In turn this data could be used in machine learning to identify the patterns of violence that might ultimately lead to feminicide – and then to policy and potential remedies to hinder the violence and death.

All criminal courts in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires (CABA) have implemented open justice policies through the use of a public database. This database is automatically updated by a secure tool called AymurAI, and the results are verified by the staff of each criminal court before publication. The database stores anonymized legal rulings, including cases categorized by judges as gender-based violence (GBV), as well as other types of cases. The legal rulings contain detailed information about the specific types and subtypes of violence present in each case, the modality of violence, socioeconomic data of the individuals involved, and other contextual information such as the presence of children, frequency of violence episodes, and crime scene details.

Here is an example scenario that illustrates how Yasmín, a staff member from Criminal Court 10, uses AymurAI in her daily tasks: In the morning, Yasmín logs into AymurAI, a desktop application installed on the computers of the criminal court, which are connected to a server in the Consejo de la Magistratura. She can see that all the legal rulings signed by the judge the previous day are available in ODT format, ready to be processed and published. Yasmín loads the legal rulings into AymurAI by selecting the folder where they are stored. AymurAI processes the legal rulings one by one. For each legal ruling, AymurAI identifies a set of entities and suggests anonymizing some of them by replacing them with meaningful labels. For example, the address of the crime scene is replaced with “<ADDRESS>”. The anonymized entities are displayed on the screen for Yasmín to review. She can accept the proposed anonymization (in correct cases) or reject them as false positives. Yasmín can also inform AymurAI if any entity was not captured (false negatives), as this could have serious consequences if it becomes public. Once Yasmín completes the review of the first legal ruling, AymurAI presents the second one, and the process continues until all the rulings are processed.

Yasmín’s tasks are now completed, and AymurAI informs her that the structured data and the anonymized legal rulings will be reflected in the database within a few minutes. The gender-sensitive database, updated by AymurAI, is publicly accessible, allowing interested parties such as citizens, government bodies, and civil society organizations to consult it through a website provided by the Consejo de la Magistratura.