SDG 4: Quality Education
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
SDG 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
SDG 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal
2. Project Details
Company or Institution
IOTO International Inc.
General description of the AI solution
Goverlytics applies AI tools to large bodies of official government data to make politics easier to understand and cheaper to present. The rise of ‘fake news’ has been in part fueled by a cost equation which makes it very cheap to disseminate false or misleading content at a time when investigative journalistic newsrooms have become understaffed due to changing advertising revenue models. Goverlytics uses AI to counter this trend, employing natural language processing and machine learning to generate compelling, easy to understand, accurate representations of legislative activity. These policy-oriented representations are simple for mass media to ingest using standard broadcast equipment, and can also be packaged for distribution as sharable small-screen content.
Our initial experimental efforts in this area gathered national media attention, and we have over five years of development refined our approach to make it easier and cheaper for mass-media outlets to present quality legislative reports, just as they might present quality weather, traffic, or financial reports. Furthermore, the policy visualisations which we enable allows populations that may have limited understanding of legislative language to more easily follow complex discourse by making use of more visual terms. Goverlytics has the potential to broaden policy understanding, making it easier for legislators to focus on policy-based sustainable goal-driven agendas.
Currently, Goverlytics is in a pre-commercial development stage, having successfully tested prototypes with commercial partners. Goverlytics tools are cloud-based, capable of being installed wherever there is IP infrastructure. We are currently coding data and improving system robustness for commercial release within the next 1-2 months.
IOTO International Inc.
Excellence and Scientific Quality: Please detail the improvements made by the nominee or the nominees’ team or yourself if your applying for the award, and why they have been a success.
Goverlytics applies Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) to political discourse to judge proximity to sustainable goals. The intent is to provide statistical measurements of political discourse, just as there are statistical measurements of performance in other domains that have changed how those domains are managed and practiced. Our work has been recognized as innovative and unexpected by the largest media organisations in Canada, and we are already working – in the post-prototype stage and pre-commercialization stage – with USA and European international partners.
We are building our project out as a media tool in order to make it cheaper to generate factual, rule-based political content that content based on rumour. Our prototypes have been tested by large and reputable media suppliers. As our product is destined for commercial application, we strive to make our research work practical and sound. Some of our research has been independently verified by external researchers who can independently attest to the promise of our approaches.
We are at TLR 5, and have had some basic exposure to media and expert conferences. Our work is focused on public dissemination via IP as well as via mass media. Goverlytics is meant to have country-wide impacts in the communities where it is enabled. This can happen at a national, regional, and local level, providing data reflecting political discourse is gathered, coded and analysed. Goverlytics tools are meant to raise the quality of political reporting in mass media as well as on handheld devices, and so broadly impact society by improving the ability to track complex policy-based transformations over time in simple visual and quantitative terms.
Scaling of impact to SDGs: Please detail how many citizens/communities and/or researchers/businesses this has had or can have a positive impact on, including particular groups where applicable and to what extent.
By tracking and measuring proximity to Sustainable Development Goals, Goverlytics allows citizens to monitor their representatives’ progress in implementing policy that enables (or frustrates) sustainabilty goals. Thus, the benefits of Goverlytics are manifold, both in promulgating objectives of SDG, and in measuring comparative success of policy implementation. User satisfaction and programme evaluations are integral to Goverlytics tools. The objective of our use of AI use is to simplify the presentation of complex information to make it easy to undertand. With a business to business (mass media) and a business to consumer (web application) component, Goverlytics presents to research, corporate, and citizen communities.
Itself a start-up, Goverlytics impacts the application of AI solutions to Sustainable Development by training young computing scientists in applications of AI to policy goals, as well as carrying out innovation in this domain. Through early collaborative research, Goverlytics has already impacted researchers and educators as far away as Egypt – 11,000 km distant. Our approach is generalizable and makes use of standardized tools that can be applied the world over. Data gathering and coding functions need to be customized to particular regions, and yet the conceptual hierarchies employed by Goverlytics are based on worldwide policy standards. Accordingly, rule-based implantation can take place in any UNESCO Member state: locals need only be trained in Goverlytics tools and approaches. Our corporate development partners are already active in 29 countries worldwide, giving us a strong installed base from which to grow and develop our analytical layers.
Scaling of AI solution: Please detail what proof of concept or implementations can you show now in terms of its efficacy and how the solution can be scaled to provide a global impact ad how realistic that scaling is.
Our evidence for impact is local, national, and global. We are connected with partners who are active worldwide. These partners can attest to the potential demand for Goverlytics, and are helping us to scale. Our scaling challenges are at the level of data and in passing from attractive proof of concept to robust market-ready system.
We have built scaling into our approach, making it generalizable across a number of SDGs, and carrying out development in both Canada and the USA at national, regional, and local levels.
In other domains on which we have modeled our approach, the application of AI has automated some areas of analysis that previously involved time-consuming and difficult calculations. The effect of being able to do analysis faster has been to open new industries that depend on quick and cost-effective analysis that AI has enabled. A virtuous circle or flywheel of development has ensued. We see a similar effect happening with our initiatives, as growth companies exploit new insights made cheaply available by AI.
Our approach has been collaborative from the start. Accordingly, we have already forged a global network of contacts who have helped us with initial introductions in non-western countries. As a start-up, we have an advantage in nimbleness, but a vulnerability in terms of resources. Accordingly, we must continue to network with research centers, universities, and companies small and large to achieve our goals.
We have three corporate early adopters who provide connections to over 3000 end users in more than 29 countries. We are engaged with open-source communities in all our development activities. As we roll out to customers and end users in various lands, we work with our cloud computing partners to comply with data protection regulations where our services are made available.
Ethical aspect: Please detail the way the solution addresses any of the main ethical aspects, including trustworthiness, bias, gender issues, etc.
The Goverlytics brand is based on trustworthiness – a low-dimensional but accurate representation of complex political discourse. To preserve trustworthiness, Goverlytics makes use of standardized categories and internationally recognized policy frameworks like SDG to gauge policy progress. Generalizable mathematical and open-source technical tools are used whenever possible to preserve transparency and repeatability.
Cloud-based IP-accessible visualizations help citizens participate in communities where hardware and computing infrastructure might otherwise be sparse. Furthermore, a Goverlytics business goal is to make good political information more cost-effective than bad political information through the use of AI. Thus, our mandate is inclusive by lowering costs and so increasing accessibility.
By accentuating the rule-governed and repeatable, Goverlytics aids comparatives and merit-based competition. We operate from publicly-accessible data stores, with the knowledge and co-operation of government agencies. Often, their goals are similar to ours in making policy information more accessible, easier to understand, and more broadly disseminated. In the case of the Canadian national parliament, we have explicit licence to make commercial use of video from house chambers.
Internally, we are a diverse organization. We are making best efforts to increase gender balance – which is currently challenging in STEM domains. We operate with college and university recruitment programmes to bring in young technologists, provide supervised training, and develop their careers. We are a learning organisation.