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

stevea steveaOSM at softworkers.com
Fri Jul 26 18:10:04 UTC 2019

Excellent, Christoph.  I'll say that I have been (for decades, sometimes at a higher-level) in software (and data) quality assurance (QA) in major software companies (Apple, Adobe), some of whom make privacy and ethics important components of their way of doing business.  (Obviously, some companies are better, some are worse).  QA (departments) are often and precisely the sort of "corporate domain" where these ethical and social questions arise (and are often dealt with, however successfully).  I offer this knowledge in hopes it might steer you to both believe and further your quest that companies do care about these things, and that this has been "moderned up" with the application of machine learning / AI to big data (like OSM).  If not QA, there should be people at the C-level who know of what we speak here and can steer you in the right direction:  companies WANT to be known as good citizens who do the right things.

Yes, there are certainly profit-motivated behaviors and forces at work here (quite strongly, especially in the multibillion-$ major players of Big Tech), yet thankfully there are also humans at the helm.  Humans who know that their long-term success depends on playing fair, nice, transparently (to some extent, though gotta keep the edge sharp by keeping the "secret sauce" proprietary).  Humans who are accountable.  Seek out these people, these departments, these ethical foundations, as if they exist, companies will proudly share them with you and can then be held accountable for doing so.  I think we're on the right track by doing this.

I don't know that there are any "white papers" that would be an existence proof of what I say, but I'm sure if we "pound the table for answers," we'll get at least something.  It might be weak sauce, it might have a heavy public relations spin on it (initially) but we've got to get the ball rolling by bringing such conversations out into the open.  Thank you for your suggestions to facilitate this.


> On Jul 26, 2019, at 10:30 AM, Christoph Hormann <osm at imagico.de> wrote:
> I think none of the critics of corporate appropriation and exploitation 
> of OSM here is opposed to rational discussion.  I have had plenty of 
> valuable discussions on use of automated techniques in geodata 
> analysis - both in the OSM context and outside of it.  But in the OSM 
> context these never happened with corporate representatives.  Why? 
> Because corporate culture tends to set extensive taboos around all the 
> ethical and social questions that arise from these subjects when you 
> discuss them in the context of OSM.  
> If anyone could point me to any communication or writing from the 
> corporate domain about use of either automated techniques or 
> organized/paid mapping in OSM that seriously discusses the ethical and 
> social questions that arise from it please do so.
> If and when this happens then we can have a rational discussion.
> -- 
> Christoph Hormann
> http://www.imagico.de/
> _______________________________________________
> talk mailing list
> talk at openstreetmap.org
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk

More information about the talk mailing list