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Adriana Bora

AI ethicist

Mixing AI with ethics has proven to be a winning combo for Adriana Bora, who is putting her tech skills to use fighting modern slavery

Once upon a time, Adriana had her sights set on studying STEM. But after doing volunteer work and getting involved in student unions, her perspective changed.

“I had that first touch with policy and I realised there was so much out there that I didn’t understand because I was just so focused on my maths and computer science and physics.”

Adriana switched up her computer science study plans and enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts majoring in international relations and advanced quantitative methods. It was during an exchange to Hong Kong that Adriana became aware of the issue of modern slavery; once she started studying it, she couldn’t stop. “I thought: ‘how can I bring my learnings about stats and political science into the fight against this crime?’” 

She went on to do a thesis using data science to understand modern slavery, and then a Master of International Public Management. During her master’s, Adriana realised that data comes in many more formats than just spreadsheets and that AI can help sort through that data to unearth more evidence in the fight against modern slavery. 

She built a prototype for Project AIMS (AI against Modern Slavery) that uses machine learning to analyse what businesses are saying they are doing to tackle slavery in their supply chain. Adriana then scaled the project as part of The Future Society and Walk Free Foundation, for which she received the UNESCO IRCAI AI Award in 2021. 

Now a PhD candidate at the QUT Centre for Data Science and the project lead as part of the Mila AI for Humanity team, Adriana is continuing to analyse modern slavery statements from Australia. 

Her advice for students? “Stay curious and put in the work. When opportunities come, you have to be prepared to make the most of them. But make sure to take care of your mental and physical health.”

Adriana’s STEM study and career path

  • Bachelor of Arts (International Relations and Advanced Quantitative Methods), University of Essex
  • Master of International Public Management, SciencesPo Paris School of International Affairs 
  • AI policy researcher and project manager, The Future Society
  • PhD in artificial intelligence, QUT
  • Project lead, Mila

This profile first appeared in Careers with STEM: Technology 2023.

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