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Systematic Content Analysis of Litigation Events (SCALES)

We are building a platform for understanding the federal judicial system through conversation, the Systematic Content Analysis of Litigation Events (SCALES). For legal scholars, journalists, and laypeople who have questions about the courts, our work allows them to find answers without writing queries or phoning experts. Much like a modern search engine, users can idly browse or pointedly inquire and the system will respond with an answer, a series of records, or a visualization as appropriate. Analyses which once required a team of technologists and attorneys are now accessible to anyone with a web browser.

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Mim (Knowledge Companion)

We are building a companion to answer questions about information found in unstructured text - in particular, encyclopedia articles. Users often consult encyclopedias because they want to know something, not because they want to read articles. But text is invariant in the face of varying users’ needs. Our system elevates static writing into a dynamic presence, enabling users to discover and dissect information through conversation. If you want to know something, you no longer need to research the answer: you can just ask.

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Otus

We are building tools to help improve educational outcomes and experiences for students and teachers. Rather than building instruments to digitize existing curricula, however, we are instead seeking to design mechanisms that improve engagement and learning. Schools and their assorted technology partners are increasingly capturing operational data about student activity and performance; there is as of yet an unmet opportunity to mine this data for insights into student achievement. We believe these data can help teachers to deliver more effective and personalized instruction, and in so doing meaningfully improve the school experience for students and communities.

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Machine Learning Impact Initiative

We are building a framework for understanding how the application of machine learning technologies may impact human health and safety. The emergence of the internet of things and the growth of digital culture creates new pressures and opportunities for human beings. While many researchers have done important work on singular issues such as algorithmic fairness, the holistic implications of these changes are both constantly evolving and incompletely understood. We seek to build upon these efforts to develop a broad, comprehensive perspective which can guide future researchers and policymakers.

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COVID Resource Response

We have built a tool for evaluating and responding to requests for essential resources in emergency situations. Crises, such as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, require extraordinary mobilization of expertise and resources beyond what established networks and policies can provide. Credible information and open communication are foundational to mounting a proper response, so we developed both an exchange, for sharing and obtaining critical resources, and a dashboard, for illustrating where and which needs are most pressing. Organizations and policymakers armed with these tools can make better decisions about allocations and interventions - whatever the issue at hand may be.

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Academic Advisor

We are building a system to help undergraduates plan their academic futures at Northwestern. Students have a wealth of choices, but a dearth of support for choosing: academic counsellors are limited in number and availability. Our system consolidates information pertaining to Northwestern courses and standards and draws upon this to offer recommendations, options, and clarity to students. Rather than having to schedule an appointment, students instead can immediately consult with our Advisor. Students can address their needs more quickly, and counsellors can focus their time on the more complex academic issues.

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