September 07, 2016

IBM Watson Artificial Intelligence XPRIZE -Using AI in new ways to solve the World's biggest problems #Gsummit

At the Singularity University Global Summit 2016, Nextbigfuture interviewed Amir Banifatemi who is managing the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE. Amir Banifatemi is a founder and managing partner at K5 Ventures. He focuses on working with startups and growth-oriented companies on products and initiatives that could trigger significant breakthrough with strong economic and societal impact. He has a special emphasis on machine learning and predictive systems, IoT, knowledge sharing and crowdsourcing, Education, and digital health.

The IBM Watson AI XPRIZE is a $5 million AI and cognitive computing competition challenging teams globally to develop and demonstrate how humans can collaborate with powerful AI technologies to tackle the world’s grand challenges. This prize will focus on creating advanced and scalable applications that benefit consumers and businesses across a multitude of disciplines. The solutions will contribute to the enrichment of available tools and data sets for the usage of innovators everywhere. The goal is also to accelerate the understanding and adoption of AI’s most promising breakthroughs.

Every year leading up to TED 2020, the teams will compete for interim prizes and the opportunity to advance to the next year’s competition. The three finalist teams will take the TED stage in 2020 to deliver jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring TED Talks demonstrating what they have achieved.

Typical of all XPRIZE competitions, the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE will crowdsource solutions from some of the most brilliant thinkers and entrepreneurs around the world, creating true exponential impact.

Teams do not need to use IBM Watson software.

The $3,000,000 Grand Prize, $1,000,000 2nd Place, and $500,000 3rd Place purses will be awarded at the end of competition at TED2020, for a total of $4.5 million.

Milestone and Special Prizes

Two Milestone Competition prize purses will be awarded at the end of each of the first two rounds of the competition, and the Judges may award additional special prizes to recognize special accomplishments. A total of $500,000 will be available for these prizes and will be allocated by the Judges for special accomplishments.

Registration opened on June 23 and will remain open until December 1st, after which there is a three-month period to submit detailed development plans. Three rounds of selection will follow, which will bring the final entrants down to 10 teams.

Teams will have until February 15, 2017 to finalize their applications.

How did the AI XPRIZE begin ?

XPRIZE had been working with TED for a few years. TED is interested in spreading great ideas and have great ideas impact the world. Two years ago in discussions with XPRIZE - TED wanted to see an XPrize that would encourage ideas for how artificial intelligence could be used to solve the world's biggest problems.

Singularity University has twelve Grand Challenge Areas

  1. Learning - Access to information and experiences that build knowledge and skills for all people at all stages of their lives for personal fulfillment and benefit to society.
  2. Water - Ample and safe water for consumption, sanitation, industry, and recreation for all people at all times.
  3. Space - Safe and equitable use, and stewardship of, space resources and technologies for the benefit of humanity and our future as a multi-planetary species.
  4. Health - Optimal physical and mental health, including access to cost effective prevention, early diagnosis, and personalized therapy for individuals and communities.
  5. Prosperity - Equitable access to economic and other opportunities for self-fulfillment where all people are free from poverty.
  6. Environment - Sustainable and equitable stewardship of Earth's ecosystems for optimal functioning both globally and locally.
  7. Food - Consumption of sufficient, safe and nutritious food to maintain healthy and active lives for all people at all times.
  8. Energy - Ample, accessible and sustainable energy for the needs of humanity.
  9. Security - Safety of all people from physical and psychological harm, including in virtual worlds; and protection of physical, financial, digital systems.
  10. Disaster Resilience - Effective and efficient disaster risk reduction, emergency response, and rehabilitation that saves lives and livelihoods, minimizes economic loss, and builds resilience both globally and locally.
  11. Governance - Equitable participation of all people in formal and societal governance in accordance with principles of justice and individual rights; free from discrimination and identity-based prejudices; and able to meet the needs of an exponentially changing world.
  12. Shelter - Secure, safe and sustainable shelter for residence, recreation, and industry for all people at all times.

Teams will benefit from competition even if they do not win

There are several benefits from team competing in the AI XPRIZE even if they do not ultimately win.
They will get advice from IBM experts and other world class artificial intelligence experts
They will be able to utilize the donated resources of IBM, Google and others
They will be able to gain recognition and publicity for their project

A number of other institutions are reaching out to help.
Institutions are making data available for teams to use to make progress on the problems. Competing teams will have access to data relevant to the different grand challenge areas.

There will be support and mentorship to help teams craft sufficiently ambitious goals.

Registration for teams is $1500 and early registration is $1000.
Teams will be able to access far more resources than the registration fee.
Venture capitalists and Angel investors will be looking at the teams to see if there is an investment opportunity outside of the XPRIZE.

Teams get to keep their intellectual property.
When teams competed in the first suborbital XPRIZE, they got to keep their rockets and everything they developed.
Teams did have to explain what they had done. The explanation for AI XPRIZE will be even more important.

The XPRIZE will be awarded based on the impact that the teams project will have on the grand challenge area and that Artificial intelligence was a determinant in achieving success against the grand challenge. If the project could still succeed without the artificial intelligence aspect then the team would not be winning the AI XPRIZE.

SOURCES - XPRIZE, Interview with Amir Banifatemi, Linkedin

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