How Social Media Can Help Save Indonesians From Climate Disasters

28-year-old architect Nashin Mahtani’s website,, uses artificial intelligence and chat-bots to monitor and respond to social posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Telegram by communities in Indonesia hit by floods. The information is then displayed on a real-time map that is monitored by emergency services.

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“Jakarta is the Twitter capital of the world, generating 2% of the world’s tweets, and our team noticed that during a flood, people were tweeting in real-time with an incredible frequency, even while standing in flood waters,” said Mahtani, a graduate of Canada’s University of Waterloo. Jakarta residents often share information with each other online about road blockages, rising waters and infrastructure failures.

Unlike other relief systems that mine data on social media, adopts AI-assisted “humanitarian chat-bots” to engage in conversations with residents and confirm flooding incidents. “This allows us to gather confirmed situational updates from street level, in a manner that removes the need for expensive and time-consuming data processing,” Mahtani said.


In early 2020, the project will go nationwide to serve 250 million people and include additional disasters such as forest fires, haze, earthquakes and volcanoes.

Why It’s Hot

Aggregating social data in real-time on a map allows for easy flow of information between residents in need and emergency services who can help them. In a situation when every second counts to help as many people as possible, this use of technology is truly life-saving.


A Facebook Messenger conversation could help you start a new life

After getting people out of parking fines, Joshua Browder’s chat bot lawyer, DoNotPay, is now helping refugees find a home in a new country.

Browder has adapted the AI to offer aid to asylum seekers in the US and Canada, and asylum support in the UK. He worked with lawyers in each country, as well as speaking to asylum seekers whose applications have been successful.


The 20-year-old chose Facebook Messenger as a home for the latest incarnation of his robot lawyer because of accessibility. “It works with almost every device, making it accessible to over a billion people,” he said.

Why It’s Hot
Using technology to help to over a billion people in need – especially in a charged political climate – is hot, no explanation needed.

WeChat Wallet On the Rise in China

In the U.S., you may pay for your coffee from the Starbucks app, book a car on Uber and place orders with the Amazon shopping app. But in China, you can do all of these through WeChat Wallet alone.

WeChat Wallet functions like Apple Pay, which allows users to purchase products and services with select credit or debit cards (mostly from Asian banks; Chase and Bank of America are not available, for instance.) Unlike Apple Pay, WeChat Wallet has integrated its parent company Tencent-owned services to let its 800 million-plus monthly users do things like pay for utilities and manage personal finance, within WeChat. It has also partnered with a limited number of third-party companies to make them more discoverable on the platform.

WeChat Wallet interface Customize your Starbucks coffee gift.

Why It’s Hot

WeChat is an incredibly popular 1:1 networking platform that successful global brands have recognized as a key platform for reaching the Chinese market. This, coupled with tech like WeChat Wallet and the growing functionalities of ChatBots thanks to sophisticated AI, lays the ground work for countless opportunities for brands to monetize their 1:1 efforts in key markets.

Starbucks – a long time early tech adopting brand – is already getting in on the opportunity for WeChat Wallet in this market.

For some of our global brands where China is a key market, like ETS, this is definitely a trend to watch.


To prep for the release of John Wick: 2 (a movie so bad, it’s good), Lionsgate rolled out a chat bot to grant fans access into the secret life of assassins, tying in with the movies thematic. The interactive experience involves a SMS based chatbot that uses AI and image recognition tech to let fans chat with a “master assassin”, who ropes you into stopping John Wick thru a series of texts that is akin to a “choose your own adventure” story. The story eventually fills you in on a new assassination plot, involving key characters from the film and culminates as an entrance into a sweepstakes for a trip to Rome.

As far as film marketing goes, I think this is an interesting evolution of the Ex-Machina Tinder stunt from last year.

Why its hot?

  • While chat bots continue to make headlines this year, this is different from what I’ve seen. Brands usually take a customer service route for bots.
  • The implications this can have for brand storytelling, and creating a more immersive experience. Here, they were able to replicate the “undercover agent” type of experience.
  • At the simplest level, it hones in on the insight that most of the population uses mobile for messaging above other things. There’s no need for an external app or download, it’s seamlessly integrated into the day-to-day.