The field of artificial intelligence is already one of the busiest in all of computer science - or really, the tech industry as a whole. And it's about to get busier.
This week, IBM and XPRIZE announced a global competition inviting tech teams to develop new and innovative A.I. systems for the benefit of all mankind. You know - our species. At stake: $5 million in prize money and more high-bandwidth publicity than you can shake a neural network at.
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Dubbed "IBM Watson A.I. XPRIZE: A Cognitive Computing Competition," the new initiative was announced at this week's TED2016 conference in Vancouver, Canada. IBM is encouraging competitors to think big and tackle global problems in areas such as climate change, education and health care.
Here's the plan: Starting in 2017, tech teams will go head-to-head at IBM's annual World of Watson conference to present their projects. They'll be competing for interim prizes and the chance to move on to the next year's competition. (Watson, of course, is IBM's resident celebrity A.I. and former Jeopardy champion.)