AtrocityWatch is pleased to be working with Mitre. Here is a great article posted recently about our collaboration:
O'Reilly Media is making a significant contribution to the 2/12 AW Hackathon, and we are very grateful for their contributions. In addition to the free conference passes which will be awarded to winners, O'Reilly is also offering a 20% discount to the 2015 Strata+Hadoop World Conference for Hackathon attendees. If you are interested, the promo code is UGAW20.
Members of the AW team just got off the phone with Chris Neu from TechChange. This organization is dedicated to offering tech training and instruction specifically pointed at individuals who want to use tech as a positive force in the world. Impressive organization. The classes are not free, but offer great value! If you were wondering how to bring your organizational or individual competency to a higher level in order to further ensure the success of your mission, look here: http://techchange.org/
Tom Plunkett - AW Chief Data Officer: A note of thanks and some additional information on the prior hackathon . . .
Thank you to Cloudera, Cloudera Cares, Todd Laurence, Alison Yu, and all of the others who have volunteered their time and efforts to help AtrocityWatch in our previous Humanitarian Hackathon last June and our upcoming Humanitarian Hackathon on February 12th at Cloudera’s Palo Alto office.
AW's mission is to provide an early warning of crimes against humanity through crowd-sourcing, Big Data, and the impartial presentation of analytic results. We rely on volunteers who believe that we can improve humanitarian missions by relying on cutting edge information technology to save lives. Our previous hackathons have helped us make incredible strides towards changing the face of atrocity prevention.
Sponsors for the upcoming Hackathon being held from 5pm to midnight on February 12th include Cloudera Cares, Amazon Web Services, O’Reilly Strata and Hadoop World, and others. Cloudera is hosting and providing food and beverages. Prizes are being provided by O’Reilly Strata and Hadoop World. We also have several O’Reilly authors signing books. More details on the Feb 12th hackathon can be found here.
In our previous hackathon hosted by Cloudera last June, over 30 Big Data enthusiasts were guided by mentors from Amazon, Cloudera, Oracle, and ViralHeat. Participants built their apps on big data computing resources donated by AWS. All of the solutions were relevant to AW's mission.
The first place project was developed by a team that was concerned that developing nations lack the infrastructure for Amber alert notifications and also lacked homogeneity in terms of devices and services being used. Their goal was to provide a cross-device and cross-service platform that allows people, not only governments, to provide alerts on a localized and specific scale.
You can see their inspiring final presentation here.
Some of the other entries included:
1. NLP and Machine Learning to find Atrocity-related news articles
2. A data mining solution, which had all the right elements as building blocks
3. A ‘Bot’ which would respond to text messages automatically with appropriate responses
4. A “call tree” of SMS messages whereby only one message needed to go out and many others could get that message and be warned that something was going on in that area
5. A flexible set of inputs which could be used for precise data mining for specific situations (example- we have the names of 5 “bad guys” and we want to search only for those names)
The winning team was selected because their solution was the most innovative, they had thought through the most extensions, and they had the most highly functioning prototype. However, the concepts evident in all of the solutions are relevant to AtrocityWatch’s mission.
The upcoming Humanitarian Hackathon at Cloudera is an important step for us, in terms of seeking innovation in this space. If you are interested, please drop by. If it does not work for your schedule, but you want to help, please contact me.
Thanks for your support. See you at the Humanitarian Hackathon on Feb 12th.
Chief Data Officer, AtrocityWatch
AtrocityWatch is hosting a hackathon to advance the cause of applying big data science to the humanitarian cause of preventing atrocities. Join us for these friendly competitions in the interest of building technology to save lives. This particular hackathon is focused on using big data and mobile technologies to build a Geo-Fencing application.
AtrocityWatch Hackathon for Humanity
February 12, 2015
Registration, Prizes, etc.
• Registration is free
• Bring your own laptop
• 1st Place Prize is/are passes to Strata + Hadoop World San Jose. Teams will have a choice between: one full pass or two two-day passes
• Cloudera is providing food and beverages
• Several O’Reilly Authors (and Cloudera employees) are signing Big Data books and giving them away to
• All submissions have the potential of saving lives
• We ask that submissions be licensed under the Apache Software License
• Register here: http://atrocitywatch.launchrock.com
• More information: http://www.atrocitywatch.org/hackathons.html
1. What are we hacking?
We are looking for any innovative solutions to detect an impending or occurring atrocity. This can be an analysis of social media, analytics utilizing one or multiple data sources, or natural language processing of the news. There are any number of sources that could indicate trouble, and we are interested to see what kinds of ideas hackers can find during the event.
2. What data is used?
Any data that is publicly available or that could be purchased through a nominal fee is fair to use. We are interested to see what ideas attendees bring to this problem. Social media is one avenue of exploration, but other forms of data (and metadata) may also be included.
3. What output are we expected to deliver?
This can be anything you want. You will be expected to show your creations during presentations at the end of the Hackathon. A working proof of concept or a realistic mock-up would be great.
4. Where will results be uploaded?
On-site personnel will help configure Amazon Web Services and/or similar cloud solutions for final work-product storage on the day of. We ask that submissions be licensed under the Apache Software License.
5. Is this an algorithm focused competition?
No. We are looking for literally anything you can think of that helps solve the problem of Atrocities. Algorithms are welcome, but we will also consider mashup applications utilizing multiple services, customized filters for video sites, or even design documents.
6. What if I want to help in the hackathon, but I don’t want to compete?
We are also accepting Mentors who are willing to help teams. Mentors aren’t part of a team and can help more than one team. Mentors are particularly sought with experience in big data, data science, social media APIs, etc.
7. Should I compete by myself or join a team?
It is up to you. If a team wins, the prize will be split among team members. A team might not out perform an individual in this event, as ‘too many cooks can spoil the broth.’ Teams can be formed after the event has begun in case two or more individuals decide to combine their efforts. Similarly, teams can split up if team members decide they are incompatible.
The Amazon Web Services annual conference (Re:Invent) was held in Las Vegas NV The week of 11/10. AWS kindly invited AtrocityWatch to participate as one of only four organizations.
Here is the blurb about AW they put on their web site:
Atrocity Watch Challenge
AtrocityWatch is an award-winning two-year-old organization dedicated to the use of Big Data for the prediction and prevention of atrocities. There is a whole community of humanitarians who have dedicated their lives to the prevention of atrocities, but the tools they have at their disposal are very limited. Atrocity Watch’s mission is to help humanitarians achieve their goals, and to keep people safe.
Your challenge is to create a mobile computing solution which can help keep individuals safe through geofencing, crowdsourcing, threshold based alerts, and/or other means. Using public datasets, you’ll build a static or dynamic geofence that keeps people safe without revealing their location to the bad guys.
To listen to the Keynotes or to find out more about the conference, look here:
To put this in context, attending the conference was a bit like attending “Oracle Open World” in the earlier days of Oracle, before everyone fully realized what a market penetration they would have and what a breadth of products Oracle would have. 13,000 people attended. The only difference is—for each “service” AWS provides, it is part of their overall cloud-based feature set, which means there is no installation and low or no cost. Here is an article from an analyst which puts the conference in perspective: http://seekingalpha.com/article/2684235-amazon-declares-war-on-vmware.
For those of you who are less technical: Think of AWS as everything you need for IT, except in the cloud, and easily extendable, configurable, available locally worldwide, with innovative and leading edge hardware and software available. You rent the solutions by the hour or by the minute, which also drives the cost down. You can actually stand up a very complex infrastructure by simply clicking a few buttons in a few hours instead of endless conversations with your infrastructure department over 6 months. The difference is that extreme.
AW was one of four NGOs invited to participate in the AWS Hackathon.
The other three were:
(it is worth noting because of the scope and breadth of these organizations!)
UN Global Pulse
UN Global Pulse’s mission is to identify “digital signals” which enable the UN to respond to emerging crises and changing social issues globally. Global Pulse is working to promote awareness of the opportunities Big Data presents for relief and development, forge public-private data sharing partnerships, generate high-impact analytical tools and approaches through its network of Pulse Labs, and drive broad adoption of useful innovations across the UN System.
Your challenge is to create a tool that mines text data from open sources or data sets and social media to show how people around the world feel about a range of social issues ranging from health, to food prices, unemployment or the environment. We need your help advancing the technologies and methods needed to democratize and make it easy to use big data for global development and humanitarian response.
NASA JPL challenge
The Mars rovers Curiosity and Opportunity have been on the move capturing fantastic photos of the Red planet for years. The Mars image data repository, stored in Amazon’s S3, is updated daily, and holds all the images ever taken on Mars by the rovers.
Your challenge is to build an application that identifies important features in these images, such as rover tracks, meteorites, and even the moons of Mars! All of the source data is publicly accessible to the world, making it ideal for building the coolest crowdsourcing application in the solar system. Dare mighty things and help NASA make history by putting more eyes on Mars than ever before.
Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading charity dedicated to beating cancer through research. It has saved millions of lives by discovering new ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer; survival has doubled over the past 40 years. Race for Life is Cancer Research UK’s main fundraising event and has been running for the past 20 years.
Help Race for Life make a bigger impact! Your challenge is to design a highly innovative mobile registration application for the race. Poor mobile conversion is currently costing Cancer Research UK millions of dollars each year; an effortless mobile registration process would help correct this.
Help beat cancer sooner. With your creativity and innovation, Race for Life can reach new goals and save more lives.
Results of the Hackathon:
AtrocityWatch is grateful for the Hackathon participants and to Amazon Web Services for their sponsorship!
Vin Siegfried, CTO for 501c3 non-profit AtrocityWatch (www.AtrocityWatch.org) spoke at a meetup scheduled for Wednesday, October 15th at 6 pm.
WishWould was our host for the meetup, hosting us at the WeWork SoHo West location. WishWould improves your local community by aggregating the voices of its members and providing them as insights for better decision making by community leaders, both governments and merchants. We use analytics to better understand what people want and make sure we provide the full picture to decision makers. One day we hope to be the platform to improve just about everything we experience in this world! :).
The event was attended by about 20 data scientists and interested parties from the NY area. WeWork indicated interested in hosting AW Hackathons-- more to come on this front!
Cloudera, the well known big data solution provider, has graciously offered to allow AtrocityWatch to host its first Humanitarian Hackathon on their premises at 1001 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto, CA. We will be asking for solutions to be developed to help us identify and predict incidents.
Information on the Hackathon:
Contact us for questions.