[OSM-talk] Facebook mapping highways using AI in collaboration with OpenStreetMap

stevea steveaOSM at softworkers.com
Thu Aug 1 01:55:27 UTC 2019

(I chose the wrong source email address; apologies if anybody gets this twice).

Thanks, Jóhannes.  I did try FB's tool myself and was pleasantly surprised it does a "looks OK for now" job of how Mikel put it earlier:  "a balance between turbocharged and exploitation."  I hear you as you say that mapwith.ai has, as I described, a comfortable workflow of "AI suggests, human maps, human checks that what is acceptable can be uploaded, human uploads."  That's fine, it does indeed have "a human in the loop" and the human checks for quality, the human is not just being there for the sake of being there.  This aspect of "humans, not AI, determine quality" is a critical component of what I am saying.

What I believe raised ire here was the BBC botching the "press announcement" as a stilted and seemingly uninformed "cheerleading" piece that made AI sound as if it were a "magic bullet" that was going to save mapping in OSM somehow.  It isn't (magic) and it won't (though AI is an important tool going forward, especially as it is coupled with human wisdom and a hawkish eye towards high quality).  OSM is, and will always be, a human-participating project, with all of the social and "get outdoors and map" project as one (human) might like it to be.  AI can and does help, that's fine, as long as humans are always "in charge."

Again, it sounds like there is a lot of agreement here.


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