Operation Serenata de Amor

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Operation Serenata de Amor
Type of projectCyber Activism
LocationBrazil
CountryBrazil
Established2016 (2016)
Websiteserenata.ai

Operation Serenata de Amor is an artificial intelligence project to analyze public spending in Brazil. The project has been funded by a recurrent financing campaign since September 7, 2016, and came in the wake of major scandals of misappropriation of public funds in Brazil, such as the Mensalão scandal and what was revealed in the Operation Car Wash investigations.

The analysis began with data from the National Congress and then expanded to other types of budget and other instances of government, such as the Federal Senate. The project is built through collaboration on GitHub and using a public group with more than 600 participants on Telegram.

The name "Serenata de Amor," which means "serenade of love," was taken from a popular cashew cream bonbon produced by Chocolates Garoto in Brazil.

Modules[edit]

Throughout the development of the project new modules have been developed in addition to the main repository:

  • The main repository, serenata-de-amor, serves as the starting point for investigative work.
  • Rosie is the robot programmed to identify public funds expenses with discrepancies, starting with CEAP (Quota for Exercise of Parliamentary Activity); it analyzes each of the reimbursements requested by the deputies and senators, indicating the reasons that lead it to believe they are suspicious.
  • From Rosie was born whistleblower, which tweets under the name of @RosieDaSerenata, distributing the results found on social media.
  • Jarbas (Github repository) is a data visualization tool which shows a complete list of reimbursements made available by the Chamber of Deputies and mined by Rosie.
  • Toolbox is a Python installable package to support the development of Serenata de Amor and Rosie.
image of Serenata de Amor
Serenata de Amor

History[edit]

Operation Serenata de Amor is an artificial intelligence project for the analysis of public expenditures. It was conceived in March 2016 by data scientist Irio Musskopf, sociologist Eduardo Cuducos and entrepreneur Felipe Cabral. The project was financed collectively in the Catarse platform, where it reached 131% of the collection goal [1] paying 3 months of project development.[2][3][4][5][6] Ana Schwendler, also a data scientist; Pedro Vilanova "Tonny", data journalist; Bruno Pazzim, software engineer; Filipe Linhares, a frontend engineer, Leandro Devegili, an entrepreneur and André Pinho took the first steps towards constructing the platform, such as collecting and structuring the first datasets.

Jessica Temporal, data scientist and Yasodara Córdova "Yaso", researcher; Tatiana Balachova "Russa", UX designer; joined the project after the financing took place.

The members created a recurring financing campaign, expanding the analysis of public spending to the Federal Senate. Donors make monthly payments ranging from 5 BRL to 200 BRL to maintain group activities. The monthly amount collected is around 10,000 BRL.

Results[edit]

In January 2017, concluding the period financed by the initial campaign, the group carried out an investigation into the suspicious activities found by the data analysis system. 629 complaints were made to the Ombudsman's Office of the Chamber of Deputies, questioning expenses of 216 federal deputies.[7] In addition, the Facebook project page has more than 25,000 followers, and users frequently cite the operation as a benchmark in transparency in the Brazilian government. One of the examples of results obtained by the operation is the case of the Deputy who had to return about 700 BRL to the House [8] after his expenses were analyzed by the platform.

The platform was able to analyze more than 3 million notes,[9] raising about 8,000 suspected cases in public spending. The community that supports the work of the team benefits from open source repositories,[10] with licenses open for the collaboration. So much so that the two main data scientists [11] of the project presented it at the CivicTechFest in Taipei, obtaining several mentions even in the international press.[12] The technical leader presented the project in Poland during DevConf2017 in Kraków. It was also presented in the Google News Lab in 2017. It was presented by Yaso, when she was the Director of the iniciative, at the MIT Media Lab/Berkman Klein Center Initiative for Artificial Intelligence ethics,[13] and at the Artificial Intelligence and Inclusion Symposium, an iniciative of the Global Network of Internet & Society Centers (NoC). It was also presented both by Irio and Yaso at the Digital Harvard Kennedy School, over a lunch seminar[14], where the transparency of the platform and the main solutions found were discussed, so that the code and data are always available to verify its suitability. This infographic provides information about the first results of Operation Serenata de Amor, a project that analyzes open data on public spending to find discrepancies

The project was presented by Yaso[15] to the House Audit and Control Committee of the Chamber of Deputies in August 2017, and raised the interest of House officials who work[16] with open data.

The operation has been a source of inspiration for other civic projects that aim to work with similar goals. Participation of several team members in events throughout Brazil and abroad can be found on the Internet, such as presentation at OpenDataDay, held at Calango Hackerspace in the Federal District, Campus Party Bahia, Campus Party Brasilia, Friends of Tomorrow, XIII National Meeting of Internal Control,[17] in the event USP Talks[18] Hackfest against corruption in João Pessoa, the latter being also highlighted[19] in the National Press.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Operação Serenata de Amor". Catarse. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  2. ^ "A Última Serenata". Data Science Brigade. 2017-02-01. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  3. ^ Jovens criam robô que monitora despesas de deputados federais
  4. ^ Sistema que fiscaliza gastos de deputados gera 680 denúncias na Câmara
  5. ^ Jovens criaram bot capaz de monitorar despesas de deputados federais
  6. ^ Robô com nome de bombom promete recuperar R$ 1 bilhão por mês da corrupção
  7. ^ "A Última Serenata". Data Science Brigade. 2017-02-01. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  8. ^ "Após ser flagrado por app, deputado devolve à Câmara R$ 727 por 13 refeições no mesmo dia".
  9. ^ "Programa analisa 3 milhões de notas fiscais de deputados em busca de gasto irregular". G1.
  10. ^ "Grupo prepara 'robô' para analisar gastos de parlamentares". Nexo Jornal.
  11. ^ "Agenda :: #CivicTechFest". civictechfest.org (in Chinese). Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  12. ^ "從巴西到台灣,他們用開放資料監督政治人物如何花錢 – g0v.news". g0v.news. 2017-10-23.
  13. ^ "Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence | Berkman Klein Center". cyber.harvard.edu. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  14. ^ "Artificial Intelligence and Open Data with digital HKS Fellow, Yaso Córdova". projects.iq.harvard.edu. Retrieved 2018-03-06.
  15. ^ "FISCALIZAÇÃO FINANCEIRA E CONTROLE". Audiências Interativas. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  16. ^ "Controle de contas públicas com uso de dados abertos é tema de debate em comissão - Câmara Notícias - Portal da Câmara dos Deputados". www2.camara.leg.br. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  17. ^ "XIII ENCONTRO NACIONAL DE CONTROLE INTERNO - CONACI". XIII ENCONTRO NACIONAL DE CONTROLE INTERNO - CONACI. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  18. ^ "USP Talks debate novas tecnologias de transparência – Jornal da USP". 2016-09-26. Retrieved 2017-09-28.
  19. ^ "Idealizador da Operação Serenata de Amor participa do Hackfest | Vida Urbana » Jornal da Paraíba". Jornal da Paraiba.

External links[edit]