Talking Speech and Image: Meeting in Italy

On April 16th 2015 a meeting was organised in Padua by Slándáil partners to explore the relationship between speech and image analytics. The project has found that emergency communications can be expedited by good video presentation or sometimes hampered by by bad presentation. Ongoing work on Speech Analytics by the University of Padua (led by Maria Grazia Busa) is analysing aspects such as pitch change and gestural deixis (i.e. words and phrases that cannot be fully understood without additional contextual information).

Ulster University (represented by Bryan Scotney) took part in the meeting with a focus on identifying named entities and movements made by tracked entities in image analysis. Automatic gestural deixis, involving person, temporal and place, should help to improve multimedia communications during emergencies.

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Above: A comparison between gestural communication used as an example in the meeting slides. Slides are available below.

This collaboration between the two tasks has important benefits for Multi-modal aggregation at Trinity College Dublin (led by Khurshid Ahmad).

A discussion took place between Maria Grazia Busà, Bryan Scotney, Khurshid Ahmad, Maria Teresa Musacchio, Raffaella Panizzon, Sara Brugnerotto. The Lead Beneficiaries concluded that image analytics will deal with gestures as a target area and a provision has to be made of training videos in this area.

A further workshop is planned in Padova as a part of a meeting organised by University of Padova in May 2015.

Slides from this meeting - click to download/open

Slides from this meeting – click to download/open

Presentation at EU Social Media and Crisis Management Event

On Friday, February 27th members from different EU FP7 Security projects were invited to present their current projects with feedback from End User partners at the ERC offices, EU, Brussels.

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Presentation at COSMIC’15

Slándáil were represented at COSMIC Final Conference, the last event to be held by COSMIC FP7 Project. The conference was held in Hotel NH Brussels Du Grand Sablon, Brussels, Belgium. Shane Finan (TCD) spoke at the conference, giving a presentation on how trust and communications influence research in Slándáil.
The presentation was given as part of a series of talks on social media use in disaster management, which included independent speakers, speakers from other FP7 projects, and speakers from COSMIC. The FP7 project ran for twelve months and their final deliverable is online in draft form. They have encouraged other FP7 projects to read and give feedback on this document.


Shane Finan presenting at COSMIC'15

Shane Finan presenting at COSMIC’15

Legal Meeting on Ethics and Data Protection at TCD

On February 20th 2015 Trinity College Dublin organised a legal round-table meeting with the Usability Sub-committee, hosted in The Irish School of Ecumenics, TCD. The sub-committee invited two legal experts to attend and take part in a discussion about the legal and ethical implications of using social media as a tool in disaster response: Rob Corbet, Partner, Head of Technology and Innovation at Arthur Cox, Dublin, and Emanuele Sommario, Assistant Professor of International Law at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna of Pisa, Italy.

Rob Corbet and Emanuele Sommario during the discussion, with partners on Skype joined behind both speakers

Rob Corbet and Emanuele Sommario during the discussion, with partners on Skype joined behind both speakers

The round-table meeting included a presentation by Dr. Sommario on the implications of governance in state of exception situations. Dr. Sommario gave examples of case studies where preparedness was an issue, and where states acted legitimately or illegitimately in protecting their populations in situations of natural disaster.

This was followed by a round-table discussion, where project partners, in attendance in person or via Skype, asked questions that drew out a discussion on both the legal aspects of data capture, and the legal and ethical aspects of emergency management. The results were added to project documents. The key findings of the day showed that our current methods of data capture and storage are in safe legal and ethical grounds, and both legal experts commented on how the emphasis on legal and ethical concerns is commendable in this project.


Key areas that were and found and that will be incorporated into the project are the importance of putting in place adequate data security measures, that data collected should not be excessive, and that trust in the data controller is key, but this should be monitored independently through a logging system. These suggestions were included in the initial guidelines for harvesting data, and are being incorporated in the technical construction of Slándáil prototypes.

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University of Padua Research Update

Slándáil partner University of Padua have published an update to their current research projects under the FP7 Framework, including the work being undertaken as part of Slándáil. The full text is available to read online – click here to read.

“I remain firmly convinced of the importance of participation in international research and I am sure that our recent results will pave the way for an ever-growing research commitment within the framework of Horizon 2020.” – The Rector, Giuseppe Zaccaria

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