$5 Million IBM Watson AI XPRIZE Competition Open For Registration

Jun 23 2016


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Developer Teams Invited to Tackle Today’s Biggest Challenges Using Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Computing Technologies

LOS ANGELES (June 23, 2016) XPRIZE, the global leader in incentivized prize competitions, today announced that registration is now open and guidelines are available for the $5 million IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, a four-year global competition challenging teams to develop and demonstrate how humans can collaborate with powerful artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to tackle the world’s greatest challenges.

The AI competition is XPRIZE’s first open challenge where teams will define their own goals and create AI applications that solve some of humanity’s most pressing challenges in areas such as healthcare, education, energy & environment, global development and exploration.

“In the coming decade, as XPRIZE strives to achieve its impact mission through incentive competitions and crowd-sourcing, we see tremendous opportunity in this emerging generation of problem solvers to use AI to solve humanity’s grandest challenges," said Marcus Shingles, CEO of XPRIZE. "The IBM Watson AI XPRIZE is intended to promote and progress the notion of ‘AI for impact’ among the global bold innovator crowd, both the established community of practitioners, as well as encourage newcomers to experiment and ultimately demonstrate how AI can be used as a tool for good.”

Teams have until December 1, 2016 to register through the XPRIZE website for the four-year competition, and then will have until March 1, 2017 to submit a detailed development and testing plan for their proposed solution. There will be three subsequent rounds of selection each fall during which a panel of expert judges will choose the top 10 teams that will advance to compete at IBM Watson sponsored events where they can receive Milestone Prizes.

“Rather than set a single, universal goal for all teams, this competition allows teams to define their own challenges and demonstrate their solutions, encouraging myriad problem-solving approaches,” said Amir Banifatemi, XPRIZE lead for the IBM Watson AI competition. “This more autonomous approach for running an incentive competition is new for XPRIZE, as we are always trying to innovate our model, and we are excited to have found a like-minded partner in the IBM Watson team.”

The competition culminates in three finalists participating in the Grand Prize competition on the TED2020 stage in front of in-person and online audiences. 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 for solutions to achieve an exponential impact.

“Cognitive solutions can understand the world’s data, reason with purpose, learn at scale, and interact with humans naturally, holding the key to solving some of societies greatest challenges,” said Stephen Gold, vice president, IBM Watson. “The IBM Watson AI XPRIZE will stir innovation and empower a global group of developers, entrepreneurs, and organizations to push the boundaries of human-machine collaboration, forever changing for the better the way in which we live and work.”

A $3M Grand Prize, $1M Second Place Prize and $500K Third Place Prize will be awarded to the teams that receive the top scores from a panel of independent judges with the final winner determined based on the results of live in-person and online audience voting during TED2020. A total of $500K will be awarded by the judges for special accomplishments and Milestone Prizes over the several rounds of competition.

For more information, and to register to compete, 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. Active competitions include the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE, the $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, the $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, the $7M Adult Literacy XPRIZE, the $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE and the $5M IBM Watson AI XPRIZE. For more information, visit www.xprize.org.

IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing
Watson represents a new era in computing called cognitive computing, where systems understand the world the way humans do: through senses, learning, and experience. Watson continuously learns from previous interactions, gaining in value and knowledge over time. With the help of Watson, organizations are harnessing the power of cognitive computing to transform industries, help professionals do their jobs better, and solve important challenges.

To advance Watson, IBM has three dedicated business units: Watson, established for the development of cloud-delivered cognitive computing technologies that represent the commercialization of "artificial intelligence" or "AI" across a variety of industries; Watson Health, dedicated to improving the ability of doctors, researchers and insurers and other related health organizations to surface new insights from data to deliver personalized healthcare; and Watson IoT, focused on making sense of data embedded in more than 9 billion connected devices operating in the world today, which generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of new data daily.

For more information on IBM Watson or to start building with Watson today, visit: ibm.com/Watson and ibm.com/press/watson. Join the conversation at #ibmwatson.

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