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Dataminr announces new tool to assist first responders

Dataminr announces new tool to assist first responders
From TechCrunch - May 15, 2017

This is the age of the citizen journalist where people on the street armed with a smartphone and a Twitter account are often the first on the scene of an accident, fire or other emergency. These folks know about an incident that requires emergency serviceswell before first responders.

Dataminr introduced a new product on stage at TechCrunch Disrupttoday in New York City that searchesthe Twitter firehosefor emergency situations throughout the city, and channels news alertsto first responders.

The system is designed to filter out fake announcements, jokesters, pranksters and other non events, so first responders arent wasting their time chasing rumors of non-events.

Company CEO, Ted Bailey was on stage today along with Ben Krakauer, Assistant Commissioner for Strategy and Program Development at NYC Emergency Management, and Masha Gindler from the Mayors Office on Digital Strategy discussing how they could make use of tech like this to improve emergency response.

Dataminr has built the first technology that can identify breaking information in social media. Many other companies detect trends or analytics. We dont. We detect thatfirst nugget of information when it first gets published. Ultimately when we [issue an] alert, it is a headline, an alarm bell to first responders to look here and investigate via other sources. A social media signal is never going to be definitive. It is just the most performative early trip wire for breaking information Bailey explained.

The idea is that Twitter sends many signals about events happening throughout the city and Dataminr can provide the citys emergency services with additional layers of informationabout the nature of the situation. As Krakauer explained this is not really about replacing 911 so much as augmenting it.

We want you to call 911. The answer is not to send a tweet, but anecdotally during the largest emergenciescrane collapses, building explosions, large firesat the same time we have information coming in from911 calls, were also seeing information come in from the social media stream,Krakauer explained.

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