Peloria employs artificial intelligence and social science methodologies to monitor online language alongside a range of other data sources. It does this to develop Early Warning/Early Action prediction of change in poverty, violence, supply chain disruption, human displacement, ecological change and other societal phenomena.

The term “Peloria” colloquially refers to un-observable structure or pattern in irregular or unstructured flowers. Many phenomena in society also lack observable structure when viewed through the human eye. By employing cutting edge social science and artificial intelligence methods Peloria analytics sees unseeable patterns, enabling prediction, pre-emption, and preparation for social phenomena

Big Data

Sentiment Analysis

Our approach proposes that the recurring nature of political crises can be detected using two basic ingredients: 1) historical data and, 2) local knowledge. Historical data allows us to see that certain developments occur repeatedly over time. Those developments, in turn, are not random nor are they the product of one individual mind, but are the product of the culture that bears them and the ideology that rationalizes them. An understanding of the social groups involved, therefore, can help us see why certain events repeat themselves.

The first step in our methodology is to collect large amounts of information concerning past cycles and apply Data Analytics technologies to it. Data Analytics has grown into a dense field of diverse methods and applications. At its core, however, it refers to the process of gathering, transforming and modeling large amounts of data that might otherwise be too difficult to manage. With the use of modern computing power, salient information can be highlighted and put to practical use by the analyst.

Here, the technology is used to draw on thousands of online media sources in order to extract the rising and lowering levels of sentiment toward particular issues over time as well as objective data that measures those issues. We use software that can quantify the level of positive or negative sentiment expressed in large amounts of online dialogues by using techniques such as natural language processing. This technology transforms unstructured data (i.e., sentiment in social media posts) into structured data (i.e., ongoing numerical scores).

Triggers

Pattern Identification

We may appraise the rising and lowering levels of tension and trust in relation to a certain issue by measuring sentiment in the media alongside other variables over time. Organizing this numerical information allows us to use machine learning software to identify patterns and the relationship of these patterns to other “traditional” types of data, including climate data, commodity prices, poverty levels, and other economic and political indicators.

Machines, however, are just enablers. They help identify any significant increases in the likelihood of a development (after certain conditions) based on the simple fact that that same development has repeatedly occurred in the past (after those very same conditions). In other words, it puts us a step ahead of a strategy that relies primarily on the subjective analysis of information assimilated by human means alone.

Our Leadership

Chris Mahony

Chris Mahony, Peloria CEO and Co-Founder, is Senior Political Economy Specialist at the Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice at the World Bank, where he was formerly at the Independent Evaluation Group (2015-2018) and the Governance Global Practice (2014 to 2015). He is also Research Fellow at the Centre for International Law Research and Policy. He also served as Strategic Policy and Rule of Law Adviser and Global Focal Point on Transitional Justice at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in New York. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.) degree and a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) from the University of Otago, as well as a Master’s in African Studies (M.Sc.) and a D.Phil. in Politics from the University of Oxford. He was admitted to the bar of the High Court of New Zealand in 2006 where he appeared for the Crown in criminal and refugee matters. He was Deputy Director of the New Zealand Centre for Human Rights at Auckland University Law School (2012-2013). In 2008, he directed the design of Sierra Leone’s domestic witness protection program. In 2003, aged 21, he drafted the recommendations on governance and corruption for the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and co-authored the Commission’s ‘Historical antecedents to the conflict’ chapter. While studying he played rugby professionally for six years in New Zealand and the UK, including for the Auckland NPC side (winning the 2007 NPC). He won four rugby Blues for Oxford University.

Eduardo Albrecht

Eduardo Albrecht, Peloria COO and Co-Founder, obtained his PhD in Social Anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London. He is currently Program Head of the International Relations and Diplomacy Program at Mercy College in New York and was previously Associate Professor of Anthropology and International Studies at Pukyong National University in South Korea. He served as Visiting Fellow at the European Institute for Asian Studies in Brussles and the International Peace Institute in New York, has published on social movements (Alter-globalization in Southern Europe: Anatomy of a Social Movement, 2017, Palgrave Macmillan), and was founder of Ethnographic Edge, a multidisciplinary geopolitical risk forecasting project using technology from Recorded Future.

Rohini Srihari

Rohini Srihari, Peloria Chief Data Scientist and Co-Founder, is a scientist, educator and entrepreneur. Dr. Srihari is a Professor in the Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering at the State University of New York where her research  focuses on natural language processing, artificial intelligence and machine learning. She has worked extensively with the US Government in developing innovative multilingual text mining solutions. She has founded and directed technology start-ups, focusing on “big data” analytics solutions for various markets.  She recently served as Chief Data Scientist at PeaceTech Lab, a non-profit incubated within the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, DC. She directed a multidisciplinary team in the development of a software platform that leverages diverse data sources to provide scalable solutions for conflict prevention and early warning of social disruption in fragile countries. Her research is currently focused on AI for Social Impact.

Our People

Sougata Saha

Sougata Saha is a Data Scientist at Peloria. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Computer Science at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Sougata has over five years of work experience in machine learning, deep learning, data analytics and data warehousing with tech giants and Silicon valley startups. Throughout his career and grad school, he has worked on attribution analysis: measuring the impact of advertisement in enabling store visits in US, mining and predicting mentions of adverse drug reactions in social media posts, and deep neural chatbots using transformers. He is also conducting a side project: the development of a search tool for mining medical literature to help researchers find answers related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Souvik Das

Souvik Das is a Data Scientist at Peloria. He has a strong background in Natural Language Processing and Deep Learning. He is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Computer Science at State University of New York (at Buffalo) and holds a Bachelor of Technology degree from National Institute of Technology Durgapur, India. Previously, he has worked as a Data Scientist in several successful start-ups in the Silicon Valley and in India, where he took a lead role in building a variety of data processing and inference pipelines. Currently, his work and research focuses on application of Natural Language Processing in Computational Social Science, Knowledge Graphs and Conversational Agents.

Manasi Kulkarni

Manasi Kulkarni is a Product Manager at Peloria. She is a software engineer and data scientist. Ms Kulkarni holds a Master’s in Computer Science from the State University of New York (Buffalo) and a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Engineering from the University of Pune. She has experience with application development using diverse tech stack at a major software products and digital platforms and solutions company. Her Master’s research has included the development of an image caption generating model and exploratory data analysis using flu data from various sources in the USA.

Divya Shree

Divya Shree is a Software Developer at Peloria. Ms. Shree completed her Masters in Computer Science and Engineering at the State University of New York at Buffalo and her Bachelors at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University. She is experienced in working with a diverse range of middleware products and integrating them into a given infrastructure. Her previous work includes developing MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) for IIT Bombay. She previously worked at Tata Consultancy Services as a Backend Developer leading a team that created APIs exposing backend functionalities to the public for different clients. Her Masters Project predicted violence in election-prone countries where she worked on data analysis, and multivariate and multi-step time series forecasting.

Manish Challamalla

Manish Challamalla is a Software Developer at Peloria. He has experience with application development for a B2B startup and research work in text-recognition analysis. He holds a master’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Ayaka Oishi

Ayaka Oishi is an Analyst at Peloria with strong background both in conflict resolution and technologies. At Peloria, Ayaka leads several analysts to conduct research on violence in Kenya as well as the global trend in Artificial Intelligence and conflict analysis. She previously worked as a consultant at IBM and as a summer fellow at PeaceTech Lab. As a recipient of the Fulbright Fellowship from Japan, she is currently conducting a research project on armed groups in DRC leveraging computing technologies at Georgetown University.

Amanda Suárez

Amanda Suárez is an Analyst at Peloria with a background in international development and security research. She is a Master of Science in Foreign Service candidate at Georgetown University focusing on transnational security issues and democracies in Latin America. Amanda obtained her B.A. in Political Science and Hispanic Studies from Columbia University and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mozambique, where she taught Information Technology and English at a rural secondary school and spearheaded grassroots community development projects. She then managed Latin American tech alliances at CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm, and later worked as a security researcher monitoring Latin American criminal networks.

Shaquib Chowdhury

Shaquib Chowdhury is an Analyst at Peloria with international experience in conflict analysis and economic development. At Peloria, Shaquib conducted research on different sectors of various developing countries to determine economic outlooks. He also analyzed multiple reports and academic journals and coordinated research for upcoming publications. Prior to joining Peloria, Shaquib worked with Hunt Alternatives where he aided in the development of suggested National Action Plans under UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and Grameen Bank in Bangladesh where he assisted in creating sustainable business models for entrepreneurs from impoverished backgrounds. He holds a Bachelors in Economics from George Mason University.

Kiara McAllister

Kiara McAllister is a research assistant at Peloria. She has prior experience working with her local senator in outreach and research projects, was an education volunteer for disadvantaged youth in Barcelona, Spain, and volunteers in a mental health facility. She plans to obtain a B.S. in International Relations & Diplomacy at Mercy College in New York.

Janice Freeman

Janice Freeman is an Intern at Peloria with a background in peacebuilding and conflict resolution. She has worked with the peacebuilding organization, Search for Common Ground, for the last four years in program implementation and strategic planning roles, with a focus on Central, South, and Southeast Asia. She is a Master of Science in Foreign Service candidate at Georgetown University, concentrating in Global Business, Finance, and Society. She received dual Bachelor of Science degrees in International Business and Marketing from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Alexandra Enderle

Alexandra Enderle is an administrator at Peloria. She has worked in both corporate and academic settings as a Director of Operations and Executive Assistant. She holds a BBA in Finance from Iona College.