About Sawt

Eye on Surveillance created Sawt as a tool for New Orleanians to more easily find out what is being shared and discussed in City Council meetings. The app uses advanced language modeling, a form of artificial intelligence, to:

  1. Create transcripts of all City Council meetings from 2023 to Present.
  2. When you ask Sawt a question, the app searches through those transcripts to find any instances when somebody said something relevant to your query.
  3. The results (a summary as well as direct quotes) then show up in the Sawt feed, where you can also see other queries and results.

How it works

Step 1

Turn YouTube videos of city council meetings into written transcripts

Step 2

Take your question and search the written transcripts

Step 3

Compile the results for you to view and share

About the results

The results are produced from AI-generated transcripts of City Council meetings and records. There may be inaccuracies in the transcriptions, and there may be other relevant data available in the original source materials not uncovered by Sawt. There may also be inaccuracies in what is stated or presented during a City Council meeting – Sawt is not a fact checker.

The results provided by Sawt are great starting points for further research and exploration, and you’ll want to fact check any information and figures that you might use for informational, research, and advocacy purposes. Here are some follow-up steps that you could take:

  • Look at the metadata for your Sawt results to understand when, who, and where something was shared or stated in the course of a meeting.
  • Watch the City Council meeting recording to understand the context within which something was said.
  • Follow up with the speaker and/or file a public records request to find official records and documentation in regards to a particular topic.
  • Verify and contextualize Sawt results with other sources of data, such as news reports, civic organization and monitor reports and analysis, etc.