Swiss Authorities to Use Artificial Intelligence to Relocate Asylum Seekers

Swiss Authorities to Use Artificial Intelligence to Relocate Asylum SeekersCC0Europe20:52 11.05.2018(updated 20:53 11.05.2018) Get short URL



The pilot project is designed to help place refugees in regions where they have better chances for employment.

The Swiss government is to launch an initiative that uses artificial intelligence as a new means to allocate migrants across the country’s cantons.

A computer algorithm developed by researchers at ETH Zurich and Stanford University aims to assign asylum seekers to those regions where they have the best chances to find a job, instead of allocating them randomly as has been done in the past.

So far, statistics show that only 15 percent of applicants had managed to find a job by the third year after arrival, according to the SRF TV channel.

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The project aims to double this amount, with researchers anticipating a rise in employment up to 30 percent after three years.

The algorithm will make calculations based of a number of factors, including the age, country of origin, language and the gender of the applicants and choose the most suitable canton for them.

For example, young migrants are more likely to be sent to rural cantons where they can be engaged in agricultural work while older applicants would be placed to cantons offering jobs in the services sector, according to the Swiss newspaper 20 Minuten.

The algorithm will also pay attention to the presence of ethnic minority networks in a certain region.

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Only asylum seekers with “very good chances” for a permanent residence in Switzerland will reportedly take part in the pilot project.

The project will be tested on the first 1,000 asylum seekers and is due to start in September, according to the SRF TV channel.