Guest post by Peter Poliwoda, IBM Ireland
We are delighted to announce that the Social Campaign Manager (SCM) developed by the Innovation Exchange, a team based in the Ireland Lab at the IBM Technology Campus in Dublin, has been nominated as the finalist for the European Data Science Award in the Best Use of Data Science / AI for Health & Wellbeing category.
The DatSci Awards demonstrates and celebrates the Power of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence in driving real business, educational and social outcomes. The Awards were created in an effort to celebrate the very best of Data Science talent in Ireland as well as to bring the Irish and International Data Science Community closer together. Hosted by Next Generation in association with CeADAR, it brings together more than 300 data science industry leaders and honour those who have accomplished and contributed most in the rapidly expanding field of data science and analytics.
Data Science and analytics are rapidly becoming big business in Ireland. It has been approximated that there will 40,000-60,000 analytics roles in Ireland by 2020, with a large proportion in “emerging” roles, including both deep analytics roles, and “analytics-savvy” roles. In recent years many multinational corporations have positioned their global analytics centres of excellence in Ireland.
There has also been the recent creation and expansion of analytics centres. The growth of importance in Data Science roles is also borne out by figures announced by UCD which show a 40% rise in enquiries about Data Science-related courses and applications up 65% on the same time [in 2017].
The nomination in the Best Use of AI for Health and Wellbeing category is a testament to the SCM reaching a certain level of implementation quality in the healthcare policy-maker space. The IBM Innovation Exchange are confident that this opportunity will give the Campaign Manager and the MIDAS Project more visibility across Ireland and Europe.
The Winners will be presented in Croke Park, Dublin, Ireland on the 5th September.
Health and wellbeing is significantly impacted by healthcare policy-makers decisions and interventions. Before making potentially radical decisions these policy-makers strive to capture and understand the “Voice of the Public” and use it to inform reform. This is typically done through citizen assemblies or complex questionnaires reaching a limited representation of society.
AI and mobile computing technology has the ability to reach a significant percentage of society and gather these insights for policy-makers. However the barriers to adopting the technology and providing the required flexibility to these policy-makers are significant. Equally the citizen needs to be incentivised to engage and rightly expect that the engagement will conform to their daily lives.
Our solution is the Social Campaign Manager. The solution provides a user-friendly platform for users to create and deploy multiple campaigns within a matter of minutes. When a campaign is created, the platform automatically deploys a Watson-powered conversational assistant to social media. This assistant is capable of privately handling “off-topic” tangents in the conversation whilst also capturing nuances which would have been impossible to pre-empt when designing the campaign. Using Watson Natural Language Processing capabilities we can provide new insights regarding public sentiment and tacit opinions on the topic of conversation.
The Innovation Exchange
envisions that the Campaign Manager is to become the primary mechanism that
organisations and government agencies use to engage with individuals across
multiple demographics with the objective of gathering
critical research data to help them make better data-driven decisions. We are
confident our solution will tackle the high cost associated with face-to-face
interactions with members of
the public and
manually recording /
analysing the results.
If implemented correctly, our
platform can offer a solution to this. It allows anyone with a free social
media account to voice
their opinions and
have a system
in place to
aggregate them as
well as highlight key points of
 The DatSci & AI Awards. (2019). The DatSci Awards – Irish & European Data Science Awards. [online] Available at: https://www.datsciawards.com/ [Accessed 23 Jul. 2019].
 Next Generation, CeADAR (2019). About DatSci Awards.