Our purpose

People investigating human rights violations, war crimes and abuses of power have more information at their fingertips than ever before: years of video on YouTube; numerous sources of detailed, planet-wide satellite imagery; open public data; millions of data points from social media, and leaked material.  The opportunities this creates are beginning to be realised by human rights and media organisations alike. But these are being outstripped by the challenges they create for our investigation processes, the ethical and legal terrain and our safety.

Rudiment is a research and development organisation founded in 2015 by human rights defenders specialised in the use of modern digital technologies.  Drawing on techniques of open source intelligence and civic hacking we aim to create the sort of  resources, tools and approaches which can speed up a revolution in human rights research similar to that underway inside government, the humanitarian relief world and investigative journalism.

Rudiment’s work divides into three themes:

  • Research and development of techniques for extracting usable data from the content of video and imagery. This includes computer vision, machine learning and crowd-based processing tools. Our ARCADE project is a good example of work that falls into this theme.
  • Modernisation of the official information systems of the human rights system. Like many researchers, Rudiment is fed up of going over 500 page tables released as  PDFs, and published quarterly, to learn about what the UN is doing. It is time that this changed.
  • Creation of critical new datasets and data services that are of relevance to human rights investigation. Our forthcoming work on data extraction from the US diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks will explore what this means in practice, examining the implications for investigative processes, technologies, and the ethical and legal terrain.

Have a look at what we are currently working on and get in touch if you think we can help or you would like to team up.

About

Rudiment is a research and development organisation founded in 2015 by human rights defenders specialised in the use of modern digital technologies. We experiment with ways to acquire, analyse and present information that open new possibilities for people investigating human rights violations, war crimes and abuses of power. We draw on techniques of open source intelligence and civic hacking to create the sort of resources, tools and approaches which have revolutionised government, humanitarian work and investigative journalism.

Blog

Oct 16, 2015

‘Notes from Technotopia’ exhibition features imagery from Rudiment’s ARCADE project

Our exhibit shows the ups and downs of using computer vision algorithms to help journalists and human rights investigators evidence war crimes

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