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Camera-First Form Filling: Reducing the Friction in Climate Hazard Reporting

Camera-First Form Filling: Reducing the Friction in Climate Hazard Reporting

Presented at HILDA 2023
Full paper at : https://arnab.org/files/hilda-2023-camera-first-form-filling-climate-hazard-reporting.pdf

The effective reporting of climate hazards, such as flash floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes, is critical. To quickly and correctly assess the situation and deploy resou rces, emergency services often rely on citizen reports that must be timely, comprehensive, and accurate.
The pervasive availability and use of smartphone cameras allow the transmission of dynamic incident information from citizens in near-real-time. While high-quality reporting is beneficial, generating such reports can place an additional burden on citizens who are already suffering from the stress of a climate-related disaster. Furthermore, reporting methods are often challenging to use, due to their length and complexity.
In this paper, we explore reducing the friction of climate hazard reporting by automating parts of the form-filling process. By building on existing computer vision and natural language models, we demonstrate the automated generation of a full-form hazard impact assessment report from a single photograph. Our proposed data pipeline can be integrated with existing systems and used with geospatial data solutions, such as flood hazard maps.

Arnab Nandi

June 18, 2023

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  1. Camera-First Form Filling: Reducing the Friction in Climate Hazard Reporting

    Kristina Wolf (Newcastle University, UK) Dominik Winecki (The Ohio State University, USA) Arnab Nandi (The Ohio State University, USA)
  2. 2 Disasters are becoming more common, more intense, and affecting

    more people United Nations, 2015 “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”

  4. Sources of Friction: Form Filling 5 Complexity Expectations • Jargon

    • Acronyms • Format • Scope • Breadth • Text Fields • Boolean Fields • Dropdown Lists • Geo Selection Typing Tap / Scroll / Slide Interaction Friction Domain Friction • Time-to-task • Interactions • Discoverability MEASURED AS • Accuracy • Comprehensiveness MEASURED AS
  5. Problem Statement 6 Given a hazard scene and a form,

    reduce the friction needed to produce an accurate & easy-to-read submission • A citizen should be able to quickly and easily submit a form • An emergency responder must receive a useful report ! → → " Citizen Emergency Responder Form Scene
  6. OUR APPROACH Camera-first Form Filling ! → " → #

    → $ • Provide the citizen a pre-filled form with predicted inputs based on a photo • Friction reduced to taking a photo • Often, photos are required anyways 7
  7. Automated Form Filling Reduces Friction 8 Fewer Inputs Improved Discoverability

    Fields will be mostly correct at the start. Only errors and omissions need correcting. The user is implicitly given an example completed form. They are primed to respond in the correct format and better understand what is expected of them.
  8. Implementation • Starts with a citizen taking a photo •

    Process for generating form inputs • Extract text descriptions • Use a generative LLM to answer questions about that data 9
  9. 2) Data Processing 11 • Multiple models are used to

    generate a text description of the event from the pictures EXIF metadata extraction Reverse Geocoding Trained Disaster Classifier (MobileNet via. Teachable Machine) MS Azure Object Analysis MS Azure Scene Description Semi-structured text
  10. 3) Generating Form Answers • Event description text is given

    to a generative LLM, which is prompted with form questions 12 Form Questions Pre-Filled Form LLM
  11. 4) User Correction & Submission • Pre-Filled form is given

    to the user for correction and submission 13 Form pre-filling service "
  12. Automated Form Filling – Our Approach ! Metadata Object Detection

    Scene Classification Form Questions Generative LLM System Creates Pre- filled Form Inputs User Takes Photo User Corrects Form and Submits Pre-filled form provided to user
  13. Case Study – Hurricane Ian Amy/ WUSF Public Media Green.

    2022. Retrieved from https://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/environment/2022-10-13/florida-commits-1-billion- climate-resilience-hurricane-ian-some-question-state-development-practices 15 + " Timestamp # GPS coordinates ! User captured photo
  14. Case Study - Model Incident Form M/ETHANE • What is

    the exact location of the incident? • What kind of incident is it? • What hazards can be identified? 16 Joint Emergency Service Interoperability Programme JESIP C/O Hertfordshire Police HQ. 2023. Retrieved from https://www.jesip.org.uk/joint-doctrine/m-ethane/
  15. Evaluation Considerations Evaluation Criteria: • Similarity to human input •

    Human legibility • Consistency across inputs • Conciseness • Comprehensiveness 17 Problem Considerations: • Time to Task/Interactions • Discoverability • Scope • Accuracy*
  16. Evaluation Image Extracted Data Image description (WUSF 2022): Flooding in

    the Serenity Oaks neighborhood in Evergreen Springs. Publication date (WUSF 2022): Published October 13, 2022 at 9:42 AM EDT Incident class (Teachable Machine): Class: 1 Large-scale-flood Confidence score: 0.74655056 Incident coordinates (Google Maps): 28.677345745673573, -81.41074086612188 Address (Google reverse geocoding): 598 Sparrow Ct, Evergreen Springs, FL 32724, USA Image object analysis (MS Azure): ’outdoor’ with confidence 99.95% ’vehicle’ with confidence 99.43% ’tree’ with confidence 99.39% ’water’ with confidence 99.09% [cont.] 18
  17. Results – Pre-filled Form Inputs Question Pre-filled answer What kind

    of incident is it? The incident is a large-scale flood, as indicated by the incident class and the image description from WUSF 2022 which mentions flooding in the Spring Oaks neighborhood in Evergreen Springs. What hazards or potential hazards can be identified? Based on the image metadata and object analysis, the following hazards or potential hazards can be identified: 1. Flooding: The primary hazard is the large-scale flood, which can lead to property damage, infrastructure issues, and potential threats to human safety. 2. Submerged vehicles: The presence of vehicles (cars and land vehicles) in the flooded area indicates that they may be damaged or pose a risk to drivers and passengers. 3. Impassable roads: The flooding may make roads, such as the parking lot mentioned in the MS Azure image description, difficult or impossible to navigate, disrupting transportation and access to services. 4. Damaged property: The presence of water, houses, and trees in the image analysis suggests that residential properties and vegetation may be affected by the flood. 5. Potential electrical hazards: Flooding can lead to electrical hazards if water comes into contact with electrical systems or appliances. Please note that this analysis is based on the available metadata and image analysis, and additional hazards may be present that are not mentioned here. What is the exact location or geographical area of incident? The exact location of the incident is at 598 Sparrow Ct, Evergreen Springs, FL 32724, USA. The geographical coordinates are 28.679345745673573, -81.41474086612188. 19 Identified Incident Flooding Submerged Cars Impassable Roads Damaged Houses Power lines over flooded area
  18. Insights & Findings • Metadata and computer vision are sufficient

    to answer most M/ETHANE questions • Off-the-shelf models are surprisingly good! • Generative LLMs produced reasonable form entries • Pre-filled forms provide discoverability of expected inputs 20
  19. Limitations • For best results custom models are needed •

    Off-the-Shelf models are surprisingly good • Form complexity may impact behavior in unknown ways • Users may trust model too much • Both reporters and responders 21
  20. Architecture Considerations • Models run at Edge or Cloud •

    Tradeoff between battery/compute limitations, and network dependency • Especially in emergency settings 22
  21. Model Considerations • Model Prompting • GPT 4 tended to

    explain its own limitations • Not correct behavior in a form; carefully crafted prompts fix this • Output Reproducibility • People will likely use the format of the pre-filled fields • Must ensure the models produce the desired format 23
  22. Takeaways • Disaster Reporting is a High Friction Task •

    We automated it with Computer Vision & Generative Models • Found positive results in a case study on flood reporting 24