The XPRIZE Foundation, which designs and runs competitions to “solve humanity’s grand challenges,” has announced the 10 semifinalist teams advancing in the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE. The four-competition is intended to demonstrate how people can collaborate with artificial intelligence to tackle pressing global problems.
Sponsored by IBM Watson, the AI XPRIZE also aims to encourage “better human collaboration with AI to develop creative, innovative, altruistic, and audacious applications that are truly scalable,” stated the foundation.
“AI is key to a prosperous future. AI completely changes how we work, how we communicate, how we conduct research, how we communicate and will eventually integrate itself into every aspect of our lives,” said Amir Banifatemi, general manager for innovation and growth at XPRIZE. “These 10 teams are developing technologies that will completely change the game in their respective fields, and we’re looking forward to seeing these solutions in the field with the hope they will change humanity for the better.”
An independent judging panel evaluated 34 teams across a set of performance categories, including technical performance, real-world impact, future impact, and ethics. These comparison scores were combined by a specially designed AI algorithm to propose a ranking of all teams.
The ranking was presented within an interactive visualization to judges, who then decided on the final list of top 10 teams for the semifinals. The panel included academics and professionals with deep expertise in AI and a variety of application backgrounds, from healthcare and ethics to education.
IBM AI XPRIZE semifinalists
The 10 teams advancing in the competition include the following:
- aifred health (Montreal): Developing a system that uses high-quality data about mental health to help physicians work with their patients to choose personalized treatments for depression.
- Clean Robotics (Pittsburgh): Developing robotic trash cans that automatically sort waste into the correct waste stream using artificial intelligence, computer vision, and a proprietary sensor system.
- Deep Drug (Baton Rouge): Developing computer aided drug design software utilizing AI-based techniques to rapidly identify new drug compounds to address the issues of multi drug-resistance and newly emerging pathogens.
- Element Inc. (NYC): Developing a biometric recognition-solution for children under the age of five.
- emPrize (Atlanta): Developing virtual tutors for online education that will offer learning assistance through personalized tutoring, answering questions, and providing feedback to students.
- Iris.ai (Germany/Norway/Netherlands): Developing technology to improve access to scientific knowledge.
- MachineGenes (Queensland, Australia): Focusing on helping people with Type 1 diabetes, including those with “brittle” diabetes, through the use of evolutionary machine learning and advanced AI to recommend the best insulin dosage and keep each individual patient’s blood glucose levels under control.
- Marinus Analytics (San Francisco and Pittsburgh): Developing AI solutions that help law enforcement, government, and the private sector identify and combat sex trafficking.
- Orbem (Munich, Germany): Developing MRI + AI image classification technology aimed at preventing the unnecessary killing of billions of 1-day-old male chicks, reducing food waste and energy consumption along the way.
- Zzapp Malaria (Tel Aviv, Israel): Applying AI in the fight against malaria, by analyzing online databases and satellite data to create intervention strategies for individual communities based on environmental and other conditions.
The three finalists are slated to be announced next month. The IBM Watson AI XPRIZE competition will conclude in April 2020, with three finalists participating in the Grand Prize competition on the TED2020 stage in front of a live in-person and online audience.
A $3 million Grand Prize, $1 million Second Place Prize, and $500,000 Third Place Prize will be awarded to the teams that receive the top scores. Audience voting during TED2020 will determine the final winner.
Other recent XPRIZE challenges involving AI and robotics include the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE and the Rainforest XPRIZE.
Marinus Analytics, I feel, should win the grand prize. Stopping sex trafficking especially with children should be wiped out with the help of this company. This is a world wide problem that needs addressed now because if not it will get worse. I applaud this company for helping and giving a voice to those that can’t help or speak up themselves.
I love that Pittsburgh is in two spots! Pittsburgh proud 🖤💛
Michael Steele Keith Grant says
As President of the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT in the UK,I am deeply embarrassed that no AI finalists come from my country, where there is considerable Government focus and investment in AI.However,spending every summer with my family in Pittsburgh, I have become aware and excited by the extraordinary progress of Technology in the City over the past few years,especially in the field of AI.
As someone who spent my early career as a Heinz Management Trainee working with Tony O’Reilly and HJ HeinzII in the London HQ, I am immensely proud today to continue my association and love of this City.Please continue to keep Pittsburgh as a global Technology centre of excellence!