Julia - Romeo India Oscar

The social media are going wild, every TV channel is interrupting its program, all around the world people are becoming aware that something big is happening in Rio.

Illustration of Julia - Romeo India Oscar
Date published
Last modificationApr 13, 2018

The social media are going wild, every TV channel is interrupting its program, all around the world people are becoming aware that something big is happening in Rio, but it is not clear yet. It seems that Rio is disconnected from the internet and no one knows exactly what is going on there.

Journalists from everywhere are trying to join their correspondents, the authorities, the inhabitants or local organizations, but it is for now very difficult to reach anyone. No internet, no phone calls, no messages, no electricity, it is chaos.

Finally, transmitted by amateur radio repeaters, the message is heard : A giant earthquake hit Rio, Christ the redeemer is down.

The news is breaking the routine all around the globe, a magnitude 8.9 earthquake confirmed by the earthquake network project of Dr. Francesco Finazzi. The city has been devastated. Non-governmental organizations and governments are starting their emergency plans to help as soon as possible about seven million people that might have been hit by this tragedy.

Julia was shocked when she first head the news, she has friends in Rio and does not know if they are safe as almost no information goes through. What a disaster ! Julia is packing and about to take the next flight to Sao Paulo. All flights to Rio have been cancelled. She will be welcomed by an NGO that is an important customer. Together and with the help of the artificial intelligence, they will try to manage the resources.

Tens of thousands of people died and even more are missing. Julia is now at the door of Rio after a very long trip; she is in tears, she cannot believe what she sees. She was there last year, it was such a beautiful city, she enjoyed it so much and now everything is destroyed.

There is no time to lose, she has to handle her emotions. A few organizations have already set up their quarters and are ready to work. The first steps are to analyse the situation, target the most affected areas, secure them, and then try to save as many people as possible. Julia will not take part of that: she is there for the following steps, distributing the resources to the population. Water, food, medication, clothes, and many other products are provided by many organizations, associations volunteers and donators. After such a disaster there is no structure, no organization anymore, everyone does the way he thinks.

Three days after the disaster, many camps have been set up, hosting hundreds of thousands of people. Many are still missing and improvised morgues have been created to gather the corpses and avoid a major sanitary crisis. Huge generators have been installed around the city to provide enough electricity to run the most important services such as telecommunications, hospitals, and the rescue machines and tools.

The landscape is petrifying, no drones are flying, no people are walking around, everything is closed, and no kids are playing. Life has departed !

Julia is satisfied with the artificial intelligence, this is the first test after a natural disaster. There is still many things to parameter and improve, but so far it seems working.

The system is still hosted in Switzerland and sends frequent updates to Julia who can then send back the data she acquires on the field, talking to organizations and associations. It works well but if the resources do not arrive, nothing can be done. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened. There is a lack of drinkable water and medication, the technology cannot help if people do not give enough to help. However, this is not the opinion of two NGOs that believe that the lack of resources is the fault of a wrong predication made by the artificial intelligence. Julia could not hold her emotions anymore, she cries all she can in the container affected as an office to her and her partners. She does not know anymore if it was a good idea to bring the artificial intelligence in such a place.

Julia needs a break and calls Raj; they are now not so far away from each other, at least on the same continent as he is still in Chile. His project goes well, the preparations for LLOM are coming to an end, the real things are about to start. Julia is refreshed and encouraged by her conversation with Raj, he is such an optimistic and positive guy with a tone of energy.

A few hours later, as Julia takes a walk with the officials, she is impressed by the giant robotic spiders that dig into the rubble to find the missing bodies or clean the area. She knows that at that time there is no chance to find a survivor. These robots are about five meters high and eight legs to walk over such a field. They can dig, move objects, analyse the situation with a great set of captors, take pieces of evidences or samples, and much more. Julia is of course amazed by the artificial intelligence of these machines. They can learn by themselves from all their previous missions and predict statistically a danger, the potential location of bodies and how to cover an area the most effective way.

Dave is one of the guys who joined the walk, he works for the company that creates these spiders. As Dave explains how function the robots, Julia thinks about the possibility to combine their two products. What if Julia could manage the resources and Dave could deliver them to the right place ?

Julia is now in bed after an entertaining evening with new friends she just met here in Rio. Some board games, a few drinks, many jokes and laughs. That was a need for everyone after so much tension and emotions. A bit tipsy and thinking about the evening, Julia is suddenly disturbed by some noise outside her individual container room. At least two people are whispering, it seems that they are trying to enter. Julia is scared, her heart is beating, she is aware that many people steal to survive, although she understands that the population is so desperate to put something on their plates that a few of them would steal. When you read in the news that poor people robbed rich people, you somehow feel that it is fair but when you actually are the victim, it is completely different.

At the climax of this moment, she hears a voice “Julia, it’s me Raj”, as he knocks on the door. Wow, what a surprise ! She cannot believe it as she tries to calm down a bit. He came all the way down from Chile to visit her. He hid his intention and location during the call. Julia was thinking of visiting him after her mission here in Rio but did not expect at all that he could take a few days off to join and help her.

After a torrid night, Julia has a meeting with a few NGO’s and associations that wants to open an office in Rio for the long run. It is going to take many years to rebuild the city which is an opportunity for Julia to get involved for a while. She will first sign a new contract and then learn and get a long experience in that field. Raj will work on his computer during that meeting.

As he was working, Raj was rapidly distracted by the social media by a very intriguing news. The tomb of Genghis Khan has been spoiled. He has watched a documentary a few years back about a French archaeologist, Pierre-Henri Giscard who might have located the tomb but it has not been taken for granted nor has it been opened. The probable location is in a sacred area for the Mongolian people, it is forbidden to access it for foreigners or to dig and research.

For now it has not been confirmed by the authorities and no one knows who might be the robbers. Anyway, if it is true, the news will be spread all around the globe in minutes. Raj needs to focus on his work: the due date for his report is by the end of the week, and if he wants to spend more time with Julia, there is no other option.

This is without counting on the fact that Julia is about to experience a long end of the week. After the meeting, the NGO’s and associations have finally decided not to continue with Julia’s artificial intelligence, it is too expensive for them. Moreover, even if the system is great to allocate the resources, many actors where not reliable, they promised many thinks but eventually either the goods were lost, stolen or delivered to the wrong place.

That is a terrible news for Julia, as she was hopping that something great was coming out of this disaster in Rio. She helped as much as she could, she learned a lot but unfortunately, it was not enough to convince her customers to continue with this solution.


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