XPrize’s $5 million AI competition is down to 59 teams


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A 12 months after launching, the IBM Watson-sponsored AI XPrize has been whittled right down to 59 groups. That quantity’s down from 147 in Could, which, in flip, was pulled from an inventory of 10,000 signups. The purpose was to halve the quantity this day trip, however a handful of groups have fallen out of the working of their very own volition.

The four-year competitors is the primary “open” one from the XPrize Basis, which means there’s actually no particular end-point right here. As a substitute, every workforce was requested to unravel an issue utilizing synthetic intelligence, be it Watson or one other system. The truth is, solely 20 p.c of the groups are utilizing or contemplating utilizing IBM’s AI for the their venture, based on the muse.

All of that’s made it a reasonably robust competitors to evaluate, together with the truth that the subject material runs the gamut of, nicely, nearly every thing, together with Well being and Wellness, Studying and Human Potential, Civil Society, House and New Frontiers, Shelter and Infrastructure Vitality and Assets.

Additional complicating issues is the truth that the four-year competitors additionally consists of potential wild card candidates, who’re in a position to enter the competitors late. That’s a primary for XPrize and a results of the group’s makes an attempt to inject some new blood right into a quickly altering AI panorama.

“AI is shifting at such a quick tempo, and a variety of breakthroughs will develop to permit groups to handle issues that won’t have been addressed the 12 months earlier than,” competitors chief Amir Banifatemi instructed TechCrunch. “We would like the competitors to stay recent and agile, when it comes to groups to nonetheless take part in the event that they suppose they will nonetheless remedy the issue.”

Even so, the workforce of 30 judges have managed to winnow the workforce quantity right down to 59, unfold out over 14 international locations. The groups are judged on their expertise, human and machine collaboration and the perceived influence of the issue they’ve chosen to unravel.

The listing additionally features a “prime 10,” who can be showcasing their tasks on the Neural Info Processing Methods convention in Lengthy Seaside this week. Two groups can be chosen from that prime 10 and awarded a prize stipend — although past that, they don’t actually get a lot benefit over the opposite groups nonetheless within the competitors.

The highest 10 consists of eight groups from North America and two from Europe. These tasks vary from wearables designed to deal with the opioid disaster to digital tutors. The total prize purse, supplied by IBM (which performs no position within the precise judging), is $5 million. The grand prize winner will get $three million, second prize will get $1 million and third prize will get $500,000, with extra $500,000 milestone prizes being awarded in 2018 and 2019.

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