A big part of the engine room’s Matchbox project is to match the right experts with partners at the right time. Some of that requires networks and project design clarity, and sometimes it requires a little bit of serendipity. We were fortunate to come across an innovative project at the Qatar Research Computing Institute (QCRI) that was initially designed for the humanitarian sector. The tool, called Artificial Intelligence for Disaster Response (AIDR), aims to support humanitarian responders who want the help of computers to filter the firehose of tweets and SMSs in crisis situations.
So what does AIDR have to do with transparency and accountability projects? Well our partner Kubatana has done an amazing job of building a large community of engaged citizens in a WhatsApp group, and has been looking for ways to process incoming messages about water availability. They first want to be able to toss out the spam and then will be looking for ways to filter and organize the information in an increasingly efficient way.
We got in touch with Patrick Meier from both QCRI and his great blog iRevolution to see if AIDR might be right for Kubatana. After a bit of back and forth emailing, we were up and ready to go with an AIDR system to test. We’ll report back about how AIDR has worked for our partner, but we were excited to share this update (and thank Patrick). You can read more about AIDR here and here.