ORLANDO, Fla.—A $5 million contest called the IBM Watson A.I. XPrize: A Cognitive Computing Competition will be announced today at TED2016.
"We're inviting teams from around the world to develop and demonstrate how humans can collaborate with powerful cognitive A.I. technologies capable of solving some of the world's grand challenges," according to David Kenny, the new leader and general manager of IBM Watson (since January 2016).
David Kenny, the new leader and General Manager of IBM Watson (since January 2016) has wrangled a $5 million XPrize for the Cognitive Computing Competition.
Peter Diamandis, founder and executive chairman of XPrize will also be on stage at TED2016 to introduce Kenny and the new Watson-based $5 million purse.
The four-year long development period will be accompanied by many intermediate competitions to narrow the field down to three contestants who will be chosen by the audience of TED2020. Each finalist will first present a demonstration of their Watson-based creation to the innovation-hardened crowd at TED2020.
As always with XPrizes, the focus will be on melding humans and technology to produce groundbreaking achievements that plow new furrows in the soil of modern society, seeding innovations that will inspire, advance and address the pressing problems of our time.
Examples of achievements in this awe-tinged category include sequencing the human genome, landing a man on the moon (from the past) and (for the future) reversing or climate change, according to the speakers.
The new Xprize will also diverge from previous ones by allowing the teams to define their own goals, describe their own vision of the challenges they need to surmount, but related to human collaboration with artificial intelligences for the betterment of mankind.
Once a year at IBM' World of Watson conference, the teams will present their goals and progress so far. Each year expert judges will evaluate which team had the most promising human/AI technology, allowing them to advance to the next year, which by 2020 will have narrowed the field down to three teams. Each of the finalists will receive a part of the $5 million purse as determined by their popularity among the attendees at TED2020.
"I truly believe A.I. will be the most important and impactful technology in our lifetimes. The Internet was a huge advance in connecting people to information. Now, A.I. is the technology that is turning information into better decisions, inspiring new ideas, and democratizing expertise," said Kenny in an Intel blog. "The IBM Watson A.I. XPRIZE will help shine a light on the innovations that can tackle some of societies greatest challenges and make the biggest difference to humanity. We look forward to sharing progress every year."
— R. Colin Johnson, Advanced Technology Editor, EE Times