X Prize And IBM Team Up On A New, $5 Million A.I. Competition

On Wednesday morning at TED2016, The X Prize Foundation founder Peter Diamandis and IBM Watson general manager David Kenny jointly announced the launch of a new X Prize competition focused on artificial intelligence. The $5 million “IBM Watson A.I. Xprize: A Cognitive Computing Competition,” as the competition is called, will invite teams from around the globe to come up with their own challenges that demonstrate A.I.’s potential to positively impact people’s lives.

The open-ended nature of this particular competition means that participants can choose to work with AI technology in a number of areas, from climate change to education to healthcare, the organizers noted. The goal is to demonstrate how humans can collaborate with cognitive and A.I. technologies capable of solving some of the world’s grand challenges.

Three finalists will ultimately take the stage at TED2020 to deliver their presentations.

The X Prize, as you know, has run numerous competitions over the years to help push the boundaries of what’s possible with technology, rewarding teams for coming up with new ideas in areas like spacecraft development, unmanned ocean exploration, or mapping the human genome, for example. Ultimately, the goal of these events is to incentivize technological achievements through various competitions.

However, in the past, the foundation would typically detail specific requirements related to the prize at hand. This time, the AI X Prize is taking a different course, as it’s actually allowing teams to come up with their own challenges in the very broad field of “A.I.” That could make for an interesting and diverse group of participants.

The ideas will be evaluated by a panel of judges who will decide on the winner based on a range of factors, including technical validity, audacity of their mission, and their ability to deliver an “awe-inspiring” TED Talk, the organization notes.

Interested participants can sign up now on the X Prize website to register their emails, but complete rules and guidelines won’t be available until May.