The Canadian city of London, Ontario, is using artificial intelligence (AI) software to predict which residents are most vulnerable to becoming homeless so it can rush emergency financial assistance to them — The city government sees homelessness as a growing problem because of the coronavirus pandemic.
As Reuters explained on Thursday, London’s homeless are moving out of its overcrowded shelters and “sleeping rough” in the outdoors because they fear contracting the virus. The homeless tend to have weakened immune systems and live in poor sanitary conditions, making them a high-risk population. Sleeping in the outdoors is increasingly dangerous as colder weather approaches.
According to London’s information technology staff, the Chronic Homelessness Artificial Intelligence (CHAI) system analyzes various personal data, including participants’ use of city services and how often they sleep in shelters, to determine which are in the greatest danger of becoming “chronic homeless.”
“According to the model’s predictions, a single