Amir Banifatemi thinks he’s on the cusp of something big, having found himself at the heart of a movement that may overcome some of the world’s biggest challenges, thanks to ambitious developments in artificial intelligence.
Banifatemi is the lead of IBM Watson’s $5 million AI XPRIZE competition, wherein three new teams have recently joined the field in a competition that’s “challenging teams globally to develop and demonstrate how humans can collaborate with powerful AI technologies to tackle the world’s grand challenges.”
The three teams have different goals that would revolutionize education, alert the masses in the seconds after a disaster, and solve malaria. (Around 3,500 teams first entered the competition when it began in 2016, a figure whittled down to a starting block of 147 teams later that year.)
“The design of this competition led us to understand one thing: If you give people the opportunity to talk about their problems, and you match them with A.I. researchers, amazing theories and concepts and projects can happen,” Banifatemi explains to Inverse.
The field has now shrunk down to 62, including three so-called “Wild Card” teams that were added this month. (These are teams that entered through a special process after the competition start date, a mechanism designed to ensure that external breakthroughs have a chance at competing before the final deadline.) The final “Wild Card” round is set for this fall, before the finalists compete for the grand prize at the TED 2020 conference in Vancouver.
The three latest new teams — from the US, the Netherlands, and Israel — will receive a large amount of support and connections to achieve their goals. A number of labs support the foundation’s mission, including Stanford University, the University of South Carolina, the University of Cambridge, as well as big names like WeWork and startup accelerator Techstars.
Here are the three latest “Wild Card” entrants, chosen from a list of 16, that are seeking a $5 million prize for their efforts.
These three teams are joining the XPRIZE Foundation at a time when it’s influencing a global movement. The A.I. for Good Global Summit, which began Tuesday in Geneva,](https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-T/AI/2018/Pages/default.aspx), which began Tuesday in Geneva, shows how world leaders are thinking about how ideas like these and others are influencing the future.
“This movement of ‘A.I. for Good’ borne out of this competition makes a lot of sense,” Banifatemi says. “There’s basically a new trend that had happened, that we didn’t plan for, where there is an emergence of interest in making A.I. more widely available everywhere.”
Out of the 62 teams, five teams from the competition will attend the meeting. Billed as “the leading United Nations platform for dialogue on A.I.,” the event is set to attract a dizzying array of organizations grappling with questions around how super-smart robots will shape our world.
Read more about the IBM Watson A.I. XPRIZE