Powerful System Uses AI to Track Live Data for ‘Good’
Of the many AI firms operating globally, Banjo stands out as a singularly unique, robust data tracker with lightning-fast analysis. The company tracks petabytes of data and uses as system that benefits from the intelligence training its founder received in the U.S. Navy during the Gulf War.
Damien Patton, CEO of Banjo, founded the company in 2010 in Silicon Valley and moved it to Park City, UT in 2018. Recently Banjo raised $250 million in its latest round of funding, according to a story in ParkRecord.com.
“You’re always excited to see the fact that you’re being successful with it, but actually, I don’t dwell on it,” Patton told the Park Record newspaper, indicating he prefers instead to think about solving the problems of today and the future — like homelessness, gun violence and the opioid crisis — with big data.
Here is how an Inc. magazine story describes Banjo:
“The genius of Banjo begins with a virtual grid: more than 35 billion squares⏤each not much bigger than a football field⏤programmed as an overlay on the entire globe. Every square in that grid is monitored constantly by Banjo’s software, which maps every geolocated public post made on a mobile device to any of the networks in Patton’s world feed…The software itself is Banjo’s secret weapon, which Patton says is capable of performing two quadrillion-plus calculations on the “hundreds of thousands of geo-tagged mobile posts” flooding in each minute: It simultaneously does linguistic and topic analysis, geo-data analysis, and photo and video classification, as well as some 30,000 other sorts of computation.”
Patton claims the company is careful in terms of privacy and data protection. It bans facial recognition, scrubs personal data and maintains multiple institutional and technical checks between departments to ensure ethical operations.
Its system has helped to crack a lost child case in the Park City area and captures moments in time to help put events into perspective for its clients. Inc. says the company has a “god’s eye view” and called is “the most important social media company you’ve never heard of.”
Banjo identified an active shooting at the Florida State University campus library in Tallahassee from a single tweet.
“Though the post contained no hashtag, Banjo’s tripwire was triggered by the phrase ‘scared shitless,’ as well as by the pattern of words and the surge in Twitter and Instagram posts coming from that specific location. The software recognized the anomaly in that piece of the grid and brought it to the attention of folks at Banjo HQ⏤who then notified the local CBS affiliate. That channel became the first news outlet to report the wounding of three people in an FSU library shooting. This is why key media properties (including NBC and ESPN) are among Banjo’s first paying customers. As one Banjo staffer puts it, ‘Banjo turns your laptop into a drone.’
read more at Inc.com