Family hugging

The challenge

In times of displacement due to wars or natural disasters, it is common that families become separated. When a person goes missing from a refugee camp or war zone, their family will often put up photos of them, hoping that someone will recognize them. Time is critical in such searches, as families are often, for various reasons, forced to move from the area where someone on the family went missing. When the family is no longer in the same country or area, it becomes much more difficult to reunite with missing family members.

Knowit saw this as an opportunity to develop a solution that could be used to assist the search for missing persons. The solution was also Knowit’s entry in the competition in the Nordic SAS Hackathon.

We wanted to see if we could create a digital noticeboard for missing persons. Facial recognition was the first thing we thought of. 

Team Knowit

A girl in a crowd

The solution

The data provided by the family, such as birth date, recognizable features, and photos of the missing person, are made traceable through geotagging. This makes it possible to trace and gain knowledge about the person’s original and new geographic location.

Photos and data that are registered on various digital bulletin boards are uploaded to a server, where they are supplemented with information on locations and dates. Now, matching can be done against photos and data uploaded in other geographic locations. All the data are continuously sent to a visualization platform, where algorithms for facial recognition match photos against data uploaded to the system earlier. In case of a match, the location of other family members is visualized in the form of an indication on a world map.

The aid organization then performs a manual confirmation of the match and moves forward with this, to ensure that information does not end up in the wrong hands.

The platform used was SAS VIYA.

Man sitting on the beach

The result

With geotagging of data and facial recognition, a solution was created that could simplify the work of aid organizations and increases the likelihood that families are reunited.

The solution was Knowit’s entry in the competition Nordic SAS Hackathon, where the challenge was to use data to do good with the aid of the SAS VIYA platform. The solution was well-received and voted visitor favorite. Knowit was also awarded shared first place in the competition.

Knowit has presented the solution to several international aid organizations to provide inspiration as to what is possible.

Contact us
Henrik Serlow
Head of Artificial Intelligence
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