Team led by female Stanford Ph.D. and Pentagon veterans enables 3X faster response times for Air Force command that managed more than 11K incidents and saved over 350 lives in 2021 alone
PALO ALTO, Calif. – WEBWIRE – Tuesday, March 15, 2022
Today, Geosite, the company that builds business intelligence software leveraging cutting-edge spatial data and AI, delivered a powerful new application called the Mission Management Tool (MMT) to the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC). The MMT streamlines the AFRCCs response to calls for help cutting response times 3X, from as much as three hours to a few minutes in the vital first moments of a life-threatening emergency.
Theres no better example of the power of simplified and easy-to-use geospatial data than the lifesaving work that AFRCC does, says Rachel Olney, Geosites CEO and Founder. Unlocking data from multiple sources like maps and checklists – and even satellites, drones, and IoT devices – opens the door for any enterprise to efficiently manage resources while solving critical problems from rescuing lost hikers to coordinating field maintenance efforts.
AFRCC is the single agency responsible for coordinating on-land federal search and rescue (SAR) activities in the 48 contiguous United States, Mexico and Canada. In 2021, AFRCC received approximately 50,000 phone calls and ultimately managed over 11,000 SAR incidents, their busiest year in recorded history.
The small team of personnel tasked with this herculean effort must triage each individual call to screen for false alarms, localize the source of distress, prioritize immediacy, and parse the myriad of local jurisdictions for the correct resources to respond – a process that can require up to two hours. Geosites Mission Management Tool will reduce these triage times to a matter of minutes in the critical early moments of emergencies.
The secret behind this unprecedented streamlining of incident triage is Geosites ability to harness the power of geospatial data – information that links people, objects, or behaviors with the when and where they occupy. Traditionally, working with this data in real-time has proven extremely difficult even for GIS experts.
Geosite has cracked this code by fusing multiple streams of geospatial data into a single, easy-to-use environment that leverages time-saving productivity features. Within the Mission Management Tool, a customized version of the companys highly successful, incident response application Beacon, SAR controllers can quickly ingest, assign, review, and coordinate a SAR incident from any location in an office or in the field.
Todays news comes on the heels of Geosites recent successful $5M Series A funding round that was co-led by Lavrock Ventures and NextGen Venture Partners with participation from Bee Partners and MS&AD Ventures, the investment arm of the Japanese insurance titan MS&AD Insurance Group.
Geosite is an enterprise Software-as-a-Service company with applications that leverage spatial data for operations, planning, and analysis. From search and rescue coordination across the U.S. to insurance underwriting and claims, Geosite fuses complex data into simple workflows by delivering the power of geospatial data directly to business operations from multiple satellite, drone, IoT, and geospatial analytic sources. The company was founded in 2018 by Rachel Olney, a Stanford Ph.D. and Forbes 30-Under-30 top entrepreneur for enterprise technology. The company is backed by marquee venture capitalists including YCombinator, Bee Partners, Lavrock, NextGen Venture Partners, and MS&AD Ventures. The company is the 2021-2022 Cloud Awards winner for Best Geospatial / Aviation Solution. For information about Geosite visit: www.geosite.io.
On behalf of Geosite
Fujitsu today announced the development of a resource toolkit offering developers guidance for evaluating the ethical impact and risks of AI systems based on international AI ethics guidelines. Fujitsu will offer these resources free of charge starting from February 21, 2022 to promote the safe and secure deployment of AI systems in society.
|Figure 1. Outline of AI Ethics Impact Assessment
The toolkit consists of a variety of case studies and reference materials, including a newly developed method for clarifying ethical requirements in AI ethics guidelines written in natural language, as well as for applying ethical requirements to actual AI systems. The resources in Japanese can be downloaded here, with availability in English to follow in the near future.
With this guidance, Fujitsu aims to prevent misunderstandings and potential risks caused by differences in the interpretation of descriptions in guidelines, offering AI system developers and operators new tools for thoroughly identifying and preventing possible ethical issues early in the development process in keeping with international best practices.
Dr. Christoph Lutge of the Technical University of Munich, a leading authority in the research of responsible AI and business ethics, comments, “In Europe, there is a growing debate about AI regulations, and one of the key issues is how to close the gap between principles and practices, or “what” and “how.” I believe that the results of this research are very significant in that they enable us to practice based on principles. I would also like to express my deep appreciation for the decision to open up the research results and stimulate discussion worldwide.”
Going forward, Fujitsu will actively work to partner with government agencies, private companies, and leading researchers to further refine and promote its newly developed methodology and aims to release an expanded version of the resource toolkit in fiscal year 2022.
In April 2021, the European Commission issued a draft for a regulatory framework calling for a comprehensive ethical response for AI system developers, users, and stakeholders in response to increasing concerns surrounding algorithmic bias and discriminatory decision-making in AI and machine learning applications.
To commit fully to the responsible use of technology and earn society’s trust in AI systems and the companies and organizations involved in this space, Fujitsu has formulated its own AI Commitment in 2019, as well as a new AI Ethics and Governance Office to develop and enforce robust policies for AI ethics, promote organizational AI ethical governance to ensure their effectiveness. Now, Fujitsu will move from principle to practice by steadily implementing best practices in the real-world to ensure the realization of ethical, safe, and transparent AI and machine learning technologies.
At present, it is common practice in AI system development to identify possible ethical risks in AI systems based on AI ethics guidelines issued by government authorities and companies. These guidelines are written in natural language, however, contributing to possible differences in interpretation and misunderstandings amongst designers and developers that can lead to inappropriate or insufficient measures. Under this method it is also difficult to judge whether the contents of the guidelines were thoroughly and appropriately reviewed.
Many challenges remain, however, and possible misinterpretation of guidelines in the design phase of new technologies can potentially lead to insufficient or inappropriate measures to counter risk.
New evaluation method and resources to help clarify guidelines and ethical risk
In preparing this new toolkit and guidance for developers, Fujitsu performed analyses of past AI related incidents collected in the AI Incident Database of the international consortium Partnership on AI (1). This process led to the conclusion that ethical issues related to AI systems can be contextualized with the exchange of information (“interactions”) between discreet elements within an AI system and between an AI system and its users and other stakeholders.
Based on these findings, Fujitsu successfully developed an evaluation method to systematically identify relevant ethical issues related to AI systems, allowing for the creation of AI ethics models (2) that are able to clarify the interpretation of AI ethics guidelines.
Fujitsu applied its new evaluation method to 15 representative cases out of the AI Incident
Database (164 global cases registered as of February 21, 2022, examples included cases from areas like the financial and human resources sector). Applying the new method, all ethical issues that occurred in real world use cases were successfully identified as risks in advance during verification trials, the results of which have been published.
Fujitsu will be offering the following resource toolkit consisting of a variety of resources and guidance for developers to refer to in their own work:
Download site (in Japanese, English available at future date)
1. Whitepaper: A general overview of methodology
2. AI ethical impact assessment procedure manual: AI system diagram, preparation procedure of AI ethical model and explanation of problem correspondence method
3. AI ethical model: An AI ethical model based on AI ethical guidelines published by the European Commission (created by Fujitsu)
4. AI ethics analysis case studies: Results of analysis of major AI ethics issues from the AI Incident Database of Partnership on AI (As of February 21, there were six cases, which were added sequentially.)
Use Case: risk in use of AI for the evaluation of individuals for bank loans, recruitment
Figure 1 shows an example of an evaluation process of an individual typical in use case scenarios like personnel recruitment or the approval of bank loans. The correspondence table in the AI ethics model identified the “validity of the evaluation process” (whether the evaluation is conducted responsibly with reference to the output results from the AI system) as a check item for the interaction (relationship) between the user of the AI system and the target person to be evaluated, whereas “overdependency on AI results,” “selective interpretation and evaluation of output results” and “ignorance of output results” are listed as possible risks.
Within this example, AI system developers can identify the risk of an “overdependence of users on outputs from an AI system that may contain bias and lead to unfair decisions” as a possible risk in an AI system and appropriately adjust the system to prevent this risk.
(1) Partnership on AI:
A non-profit organization established in 2016 that address the ethical challenges of AI, for a future where AI and humans work together.
(2) AI ethics models:
AI ethics models include a correspondence table of “check items” and “interactions”, a tool for step-by-step evaluation of ethical requirements for AI systems. AI ethic models are manually created based on a specific guideline, but once generated, a model can be used generically to evaluate various AI systems. Using this method, developers and operators of AI systems can automatically retrieve all relevant check items from a previously created AI ethics model for a systematic and comprehensive evaluation of related possible risks based on the type of interactions within an AI system.
Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Approximately 126,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 3.6 trillion yen (US$34 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021. For more information, please see www.fujitsu.com.
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – WEBWIRE – Wednesday, February 16, 2022
Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) and BYD UK jointly announced today that their electric vehicle partnership, the UKs leading electric bus producer, has supplied 29 BYD ADL Enviro400EV to Abellio London for use on Transport for London (TfL) route 63 between Kings Cross and Honor Oak.
The zero emission double-deckers have innovative features, aimed at making them an even more attractive, green alternative to the car as London recovers from the pandemic.
ADL is a subsidiary of leading independent global bus manufacturer NFI Group Inc. (NFI), while BYD is the worlds leading manufacturer of new energy vehicles (NEV) and power batteries.
The new buses on route 63 have a more open feel thanks to a skylight on the upper deck and handles on the backs of seats rather than vertical poles for an unobstructed view. With high back seats throughout, journeys will be more comfortable. USB chargers and mobile phone holders in the seats mean passengers can work or relax more easily, while also taking the time to watch the sights of London go by.
A wood-effect floor adds to the cutting-edge design. New covers for the priority seats, with a contrasting colour scheme, help differentiate them from other seats for passengers who are less able to stand. The vehicles also have a larger wheelchair and buggy area, improving accessibility and helping parents getting around town. CCTV cameras have also been upgraded to provide higher-definition footage, acting as a greater deterrent and making travel even more safe and secure.
New digital signage on board the buses share a wider range of real-time information, including the time to the next stop, disruptions, space on the next bus and service updates for Tube and Overground services.
Thanks to the ADLs extensive experience in tailoring buses interiors to customer requirements, the manufacturer was well placed to adapt the interior of the BYD ADL Enviro400EV electric double deckers. They were built at ADLs factory in Scarborough, Yorkshire, supporting skilled green jobs and apprenticeships.
The electric buses are powered by BYD Iron-Phosphate Battery technology providing a longer driving range and optimised battery life. They also benefit from BYDs innovative chassis, incorporating a 6 in one controller integrating the entire ecosystem of the bus for improved reliability.
Chris Gall, ADL Group Engineering Director, said: We are delighted to continue to work with TfL and operators like Abellio to deliver innovation for Londons buses with the customer-friendly features on these zero emission buses. TfLs sustained investment in its bus network is hugely important as it underpins skilled jobs and apprenticeships at our factories in Yorkshire and Scotland, our aftermarket facilities across the country, as well as in our extensive domestic supply chain, supporting communities through re-investment in local economies.
Frank Thorpe, Managing Director, BYD UK, said: Innovation and collaboration are integral to achieving ambitious net zero strategies. BYD strongly believes in the value of partnerships to help fast-track environmental goals for transport authorities and operators, such as TfL and Abellio. We are proud to bring our world leading expertise in batteries and integrated powertrain technology to our successful eBus venture in the UK with ADL.
The Official Sponsor of Mother Nature, BYD, the worlds leading electric vehicle company, is dedicated to creating a total solution. Globally, BYD has committed to corporate social responsibility, deeply monitoring our supply chain in terms of human rights, environmental safety, hazardous substance control and intellectual property rights. We only select suppliers who share our commitment to just labor practices, human rights standards and the environment. For more information, please visit https://byd.com/ or follow BYD on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.