30 Teams Advance In $5M IBM Watson AI XPRIZE

Nov 30 2018


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Top 10 Teams Will Be Recognized During the 2018 Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems 

MONTREAL (November 30, 2018) — As the global leader in incentivized prize competitions, XPRIZE today announced the top 30 teams moving forward in the $5M IBM Watson AI XPRIZE. The four-year international competition aims to demonstrate how humans can collaborate with powerful artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges. Within these 30 teams, the top 10 will be recognized with an opportunity to win milestone awards next week at the annual conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS) in Montreal. 

The IBM Watson AI XPRIZE allows teams to define their own goals, with competitors developing AI technologies to address problems across a number of domains including education, environment, health, society, and infrastructure. The inclusion of AI technologies in different domains allows XPRIZE to comprehensively facilitate dialogue around the beneficial use of AI while also attempting to more accurately measure human and machine collaboration. 

The advancing teams hail from Australia, Canada, France, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States, and were chosen from a field of 62 teams by an independent panel of expert judges. Each team was selected 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.

The top 10 teams will showcase their technologies in front of a live audience and judging panel at Concordia University in Montreal on Wednesday, December 5, as they compete for three milestone awards. 

The top 10 teams are:

· 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

· Amiko AI (Milan; London) — 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) — 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

· Choosito! (Philadelphia) — A smart search engine tool powered by artificial intelligence that automates how people index, analyze, search and deliver personalized digital content

· Deep Drug (Baton Rouge, LA) — 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) — Developing virtual tutors for online education that will offer learning assistance through personalized tutoring, answering questions, and providing feedback to students

· InnoVie Health (Montreal) — Helping resource-strained hospitals optimize their services to give better quality care

· MachineGenes (Queensland, Australia) — Focusing on helping people with Type 1 Diabetes, including those with “brittle” diabetes, using evolutionary machine learning and advanced AI to recommend the best insulin dosage and keep each individual patient’s blood glucose levels under control with unprecedented stability and safety

· Nectar (Montreal) — Using analytics to help beekeepers be better at their jobs while also minimizing the loss of colonies

· 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 

“This competition has made it evident that the teams’ efforts to apply AI for Good not only started the trend, but created a global movement,” said Amir Banifatemi, General Manager for Innovation and Growth at XPRIZE. “We’re proud to see humans rallying together to build responsible and useful AI that will solve some of the grandest challenges of our time.”

To recognize their achievements to date, the top 10 teams will vie for three milestone awards, including a $35k first place prize, as well as a $20k second place prize and a $5k people’s choice award. The live presentation event and award ceremony will take place on Wednesday, December 5. For more details, visit the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE Milestone Event page

While 30 teams are advancing to the next round, the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE has also opened one last wildcard round, for new teams with groundbreaking ideas to join the competition. This second, and final, wildcard round allows the XPRIZE competition to onboard new ideas and teams brought about by recent innovation within a rapidly-changing AI landscape. Interested teams can enter by visiting the XPRIZE website now until Friday, December 14, 2018

The IBM Watson AI XPRIZE competition will culminate 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 $500k Third Place prize will be awarded to the teams that receive the top scores, with the final winner determined by results from audience voting during TED2020. 

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