In rural India, Self Help Groups (SHGs) are small informal groups of 10-20 individuals who come together to help one another and to manage resources for the benefit of group members. SHGs are a common structure among farmers in the Uttarakhand state of India, though they have trouble resolving conflicts between group members to reach consensus decisions. SHG members often report that conflicts among group members while making decisions are a major constraint to the efficacy of their groups.
Pragya Goswamy, a PhD candidate at the University of Uttarakhand, is studying the decision-making processes of 12 Self Help Groups in Uttarakhand state and whether the use of Swarm AI can improve the decision-making effectiveness of these groups.
Pragya created a group decision making index to measure different properties of group collaboration when making decisions using their existing decision-making process (e.g., speed of group decision making, group cohesiveness, and the degree of satisfaction and conviction of each decision), and then had groups conduct meetings using Swarm AI on their Android phones to make decisions. The groups used Swarm AI in Hindi, and reported the swarming experience was intuitive, engaging, and helpful in resolving conflict in their meetings.
Pragya is in the process of contrasting the efficacy of group decisions made using a conventional approach to those made with the Swarm AI software platform and hopes to complete her PhD thesis on this project in the next year. Find more of her research at her Google Scholar profile.
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