Blogpost by Annemarie Poorterman et al: “…It has been estimated that over 600,000 Syrians have been killed since the start of the civil war, including tens of thousands of civilians killed in airstrike attacks. Predicting where and when strikes will occur and issuing time-critical warnings enabling civilians to seek safety is an ongoing challenge. It was this problem that motivated the development of Sentry Syria, an early warning system that alerts citizens to a possible airstrike. Sentry uses acoustic sensor data, reports from on-the-ground volunteers, and open media ‘scraping’ to detect warplanes in flight. It uses historical data and AI to validate the information from these different data sources and then issues warnings to civilians 5-10 minutes in advance of a strike via social media, TV, radio and sirens. These extra minutes can be the difference between life and death.
Sentry Syria is just one example of an emerging approach in the humanitarian response we call collective crisis intelligence (CCI). CCI methods combine the collective intelligence (CI) of local community actors (e.g. volunteer plane spotters in the case of Sentry) with a wide range of additional data sources, artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics to support crisis management and reduce the devastating impacts of humanitarian emergencies….(More)”