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NITI Aayog Launches Global Hackathon On Artificial Intelligence

According to a recent press release, the National Institution for Transforming India, with the vision to further expand the idea of ‘Artificial Intelligence, AI for All’ articulated in the National AI Strategy, has announced that it will be organising hackathons to source sustainable, innovative and technologically-enabled solutions to address various challenges in the development space.

Taking the initiative forward, NITI Aayog is now partnering with a Singapore-based AI start up to launch the ‘AI 4 All Global Hackathon’,  and is inviting developers, students, start-ups and companies to develop AI applications to make significant positive social and economic impact for India.

The challenge question seeks to develop solutions in Distributed Computing and Privacy Preserving techniques, such as multi-party computation, in AI.

The objective of this hackathon is to promote awareness and subsequently develop solutions that deliver the twin benefit of efficient computing to address the infrastructure challenges, while also not compromising on privacy of data for training AI algorithms.

NITI Aayog organized its first hackathon, ‘MoveHack’ in August 2018, on the side-lines of the Global Mobility Summit 2018. The hackathon had been set up with the aim of garnering cutting-edge mobility applications. Over 2,000 submissions were received out of which the Top 10 teams were awarded at the summit.

The CEO of NITI Aayog stated that the AI for All Hackathon underscores the commitment of NITI Aayog to supporting meaningful social, economic and technological advancements directed at making people’s lives better. He added that it is believed that India is ideally positioned as a thought-leader and regional economic power to help bring the benefits of innovation in AI and distributed computing to communities in developing countries around the world.

The ‘AI 4 All Global Hackathon’ was announced at the AI conference organized by NITI Aayog, in partnership with the ORF, held in Mumbai in November 2018.

The hackathon will be run two stages with Stage One ending 15 January 2019 and Stage Two, which will only include shortlisted participants from the previous stage, will conclude on 15 March 2019

The jury shall comprise of the leaders from the technology and policy ecosystem, namely, the CEO of NITI Aayog; the Head at AI Foundations Lab at an American multinational tech firm; the Director of Technology at Sequoia Capital; the Partner at Accel Partners; the Co-founder & Faculty Director of International Innovation Corps; the Innovation Management at Telkom; and the CEO of Perlin.

The first stage will invite ideas for use cases of multi-party computation in areas such as Healthcare, Education, Agriculture, Urbanization, Financial Inclusion. The second stage will call for these ideas to be matured and developed, with a focus on privacy preserving AI and distributed computing.

Winners will share in a prize pool worth US$50,000 in both cash and non-cash rewards. Participants will also get mentorship and support from the hackathon co-sponsors, including the opportunity to scale and implement their AI applications.

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