Edit wins IBM Beacon Award
A team of Editors headed to Las Vegas recently where they were nominated for an IBM Beacon Award – celebrating exceptional applications of the tech giant’s technology that demonstrate the power to transform the way industries operate, and to change lives.
So what did Edit develop to gain this prestigious recognition? Our tech platform offered a potential solution to a common problem faced by humanitarian teams delivering aid on the ground in Tanzania. Aid response times were being hampered by a lack of accurate geographic data, particularly when it comes to identifying locations of settlements and lived-in buildings.
Using IBM Watson Visual Recognition as a basis, The Watson Guild team from Edit – led by Simon Peel and including Neth Williams and Tom Luxton – developed a sophisticated prototype image classifier for use by aid volunteers. The classifier is capable of successfully pinpointing dwellings based on ‘learned’ experience of what they typically look like.
The platform was developed to assist the charity Crowd2Map Tanzania, which operates through Missing Maps, and the Humanitarian Open Street Map Team project and discussions about the real-life implementation of the solution across aid efforts are underway.
Simon said of the project: “Having worked with charities in Tanzania I discovered that a number of time‐critical mapping projects aren’t completed within the required time, leaving the humanitarian teams on the ground without the local maps that they need.
“The aim of this solution is to dramatically speed up the mapping process so that teams can quickly provide humanitarian assistance – which typically addresses female genital mutilation, early marriage, and gender‐based violence.”
He adds that he was “proud on so many levels” and hopes the award recognition raises awareness of the solution so that it can be implemented for real. He also praised the IBM Watson platform itself, saying that the “possibilities it holds are almost endless.”
Our CEO Damian Coverdale said he was “delighted that one of our own has developed a best-in-class example of what an existing piece of tech can do” and promised that Edit will continue to push the boundaries with the tech at our fingertips.
Congratulations again to the team! For more information feel free to get in contact