Entries have closed for the $5 million IBM Watson AI XPRIZE competition, which challenges teams to demonstrate how humans can collaborate with powerful AI technologies to tackle the world’s biggest problems.

The prize aims to accelerate adoption of AI technologies and spark creative, innovative, and audacious demonstrations that are truly scalable and solve grand societal challenges. To encourage innovation in any form, the competition is an open contest where teams create their own goal and solution to an identified issue.

The IBM Watson AI XPRIZE is a four-year competition with annual milestone competitions in 2017 and 2018. Each year leading up to TED 2020, the teams will be evaluated for the opportunity to advance to the next round. The three finalist teams will take the TED stage in 2020 to demonstrate what they have achieved and compete for the Grand Prize of $3 million.

AI XPRIZE Appoints Advisory Board

The XPRIZE Foundation has announced the selection of nine prominent members to serve on the AI XPRIZE Advisory Board. All leaders in their fields, the Advisory Board members come with diverse experiences from some of the most prestigious AI research universities, organizations, and companies including NASA, Google, O’Reilly Media, AAAI, IJCAI, IEEE, AAAS, Carnegie Mellon University, Ecole Normale Superieure and Singularity University to name a few.

The eight distinguished members are: Peter Norvig, Director of Research, Google; Tim O’Reilly, CEO of O’Reilly Media; Manuela M. Veloso, Professor, Carnegie Mellon University; Neil Jacobstein, Chair of the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Track at Singularity University; Yoshua Bengio, Head of the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms; Babak Hodjat, Co-founder and Chief Scientist of Sentient; Subbarao Kambhampati, Professor of Computer Science, Arizona State University; Lav R. Varshney, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois; Jean Ponce, Head of the Department of Computer Science, Ecole Normale Superieure.

The primary responsibility of the Board is to advise XPRIZE regarding all aspects of the design, judging criteria and implementation of the competition. More board members will join this illustrious group during the life of the competition.

AI XPRIZE Announces Partners to Support Competing Teams

AI XPRIZE has announced that the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE has entered into partnerships with Tech Coast Angels, Zetta, Crowdfunder and Affectiva to support the teams throughout the competition.

Zetta will support the competition as part of its strategic commitment to AI and Intelligence as the fourth era of computing. “We think AI will affect every industry,” says Ash Fontana, Managing Director, “It is a fundamental shift in computing.” Special attention is given to the AI XPRIZE competitors that are going to tackle world’s challenges and looking for committed investors to support their competition plans.

Tech Coast Angels will promote the competition to its entire portfolio of companies, and is considering capital investment for Southern California teams registering for the competition. As the nation’s largest angel investor group with more than 320 investor members, Tech Coast Angels will be able to provide mentorship and expert support, and possible funding to teams that will be driven to take on big challenges with AI.

Crowdfunder will support this prize by helping participating entrepreneurial teams that need funding resources by leveraging its funding platform, tools and services. Teams will have access to an investment network of thousands of accredited and institutional investors online.

Affectiva will offer up its emotion recognition software developer kit at no charge to all competing teams. For more about the technology and how you can infuse emotion analytics and insight into your offerings visit www.affectiva.com  and read the Why AI Needs Emotion blog by Rana el Kaliouby, Co-Founder and CEO of Affectiva