XPRIZE Announces 59 Teams Advancing In $5M IBM Watson AI XPRIZE


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Top 10 Teams to be Recognized at the Annual Conference on Neural
Information Processing Systems

LOS ANGELES (December 5, 2017) — XPRIZE, the global leader in incentivized prize competitions, today announced that 59 teams representing 14 countries are advancing in the $5M IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, a four-year global competition to develop and demonstrate how humans can collaborate with powerful artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges. The top 10 teams will be recognized later this week at the annual conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) in Long Beach, California.

An independent panel of judges selected the competitors that are advancing from a field of 147 teams. The competition, which allows teams to define their own goals, has competitors developing AI technologies to address problems across a number of domains: Health & Wellness, Learning & Human Potential, Civil Society, Space & New Frontiers, Shelter & Infrastructure, Energy & Resources. Teams will be judged based on the standards they set in their plans, as well as the performance and scalability of their AI application, with the heaviest weight placed on the potential to achieve exponential impact.

Additionally, for the first time, new teams with groundbreaking ideas will still have an opportunity to enter the competition via two Wild Card rounds, with the first round closing on December 20, 2017 and the second Wild Card round set to open in fall 2018. AI technology advances are moving at a rapid pace, and these two Wild Card rounds allow the XPRIZE competition to onboard new ideas and teams brought about by recent innovation in the industry.

“XPRIZE is proud to recognize the 59 teams paving the path forward on how AI can be used as a tool for good,” said Amir Banifatemi, prize lead for the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE. “We look forward to seeing the leading solutions that emerge from the competition and are thrilled about the potential breakthroughs across a variety of sectors.”

The top 10 teams are:

  • aifred health (Montreal, Canada) — Is developing a system that uses high-quality data about mental health to help physicians work with their patients to choose personalized treatments for depression.
  • Amiko AI (Milan, Italy; London, United Kingdom) — Is developing a system that enables real-time monitoring of medication use and patient health to assist healthcare professionals and empower asthma patients to achieve better outcomes.
  • Behaivior (Pittsburgh, PA) — Is developing a platform which will combine data from wearables and smartphones into an early warning system to predict and prevent addiction relapses and overdoses, with an initial focus on opioids.
  • Brown HCRI (Providence, RI) — Is developing a three-phase interdisciplinary research program to identify human social and moral norms and implement them in robots.
  • DataKind (New York, NY) — Is developing AI models which use high-resolution satellite imagery to monitor crops for disease in support of poverty alleviation.
  • Deep Drug (Baton Rouge, LA) — Is developing a drug design software that learns from the successes and failures of previous clinical trials to shorten the developmental timeline of new drugs. 
  • emPrize (Atlanta, GA) — Is developing virtual tutors for online education that will offer learning assistance through personalized tutoring, answering questions, and providing feedback to students.
  • EruditeAI (Montreal, Canada) — Is developing a free peer-to-peer math tutoring platform where a matchmaking AI pairs students in need of math help with students who have demonstrated proficiency in a specific mathematical concept.
  • Iris.ai (Oslo, Norway) — Is currently semi-automating the systematic mapping of scientific papers and ultimately building an “AI researcher” doing literature-based discovery.
  • WikiNet (Quebec, Canada) — Is developing a system that learns from past environmental cleanup efforts to provide automated expert recommendations for treating contaminated sites worldwide.

The 59 teams moving forward in the competition hail from the United States, Canada, Australia, Barbados, China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Norway, Poland, United Kingdom, and Vietnam.

Details about all of the advancing teams can be found here.

The competition, launched in June 2016, will culminate in 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 $500k Third Place prize will be awarded to the teams that receive the top scores, with the final winner determined based on the results of the live in-person and online audience voting during TED2020. Additionally, $500k Milestone Prizes will be awarded to 10 teams during fall 2018 and 2019.

For more information, visit ai.xprize.org.

XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges. XPRIZE utilizes a unique combination of gamification, crowdsourcing, incentive prize theory, and exponential technologies as a formula to make 10x (vs. 10%) impact in the grand challenge domains facing our world. XPRIZE’s philosophy is that—under the right circumstances—igniting rapid experimentation from a variety of diverse lenses is the most efficient and effective method to driving exponential impact and solutions to grand challenges. Active competitions include the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE, the $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, the $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE, the $5M IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, the $1.75M Water Abundance XPRIZE, and the $1M Anu & Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE. For more information, visit www.xprize.org/.