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Friday, September 7 • 11:30am - 1:00pm
I survived a machine learning pilot

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We don't doubt that machine learning can help us achieve MEL outcomes more efficiently, accurately, consistently, etc. But taking the plunge—defining a relevant problem, finding a machine learning tech partner, etc.—can be a huge challenge, especially at a resource-constrained NGO. This session will try to make it easier for others in the MERL community to take that plunge.

For the past 6 months, IREX has been collaborating with Lore, an AI startup, to test how machine learning can help us monitor the impact of our media trainings at a scale, efficiency, and consistency that far outpaces those of traditional human "coders". We've trained a computer to examine thousands of news articles in Mozambique, to automatically measure the quality of journalists’ content. We've turning this experience into an explainer for NGOs and global development organizations that provides practical tips about how to (and how not to) use machine learning technology to tackle their challenges.

Join this casual "Q&A" session, where we'll share those lessons and tips and discuss concrete, actionable steps to commons questions, ranging from "What does a TOR for a machine learning MEL project look like?" to "How much time do you need to spend 'teaching' the machine?"

We've heard enough talk about how frontier technology like machine learning can transform our work as MEL practitioners. At this session, let's unpack that black box and walk the talk!


Hedeer El-Showk

Co-founder, Lore AI
Hedeer El Showk is the co-founer of Lore Ai, an artifical intelligence technology startup helping people effectively work with "big text" through natural language processing and smart automation. Hedeer holds an M.Sc in Mathematical Finance from the Courant Institute at New York University... Read More →

Alexandre Gavaza

M&E Manager, IREX
Alexandre Gavaza is a professional with over 15 years of experience working for NGOs (Health and Media), firms in the construction, beverages, extractive and metallurgical industry. He is a Data Specialist accredited by Microsoft, which confers his mastery in the structuring and implementation... Read More →

Neeran Saraf

Senior ICT Advisor, Zeva
avatar for Samhir Vasdev

Samhir Vasdev

Digital Development Adviser, IREX
Samhir Vasdev is the Technical Adviser for Digital Development at IREX, a global development and education organization. There, Samhir drives the organization’s efforts to foster better use of data to inform decisions, learning, and action within IREX and its programs. For example... Read More →

Friday September 7, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm EDT
Balcony E 1825 Connecticut Avenue NW, 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20009