In an emergency, connecting resources with needs is key to weathering the storm and coming out on the other side. And one group is developing a Match.com-style way of making those connections when they’re needed most.
Russian researchers are working on a “Help Atlas” designed to coordinate people willing to help with areas in need of particular resources. To accelerate and scale the matching of needs and resources, the team created a matchmaking algorithm (hence the Match.com comparisons), including personal profiles of volunteers and their history of assistance.
The process is ongoing as the algorithm becomes more complex – though the researchers note that having digital volunteers to serve as moderators has remained pivotal to improving the system.
Part of the struggle is the scope of the project: while Match.com is focused on online dating, and Uber works only to match those in need of a ride with a local car service, a matching platform for mutual aid may need to narrow its focus.
Still, it’s a great goal – and only a matter of time before it could become a reality. To read more on the project, click here.