XPRIZE and ITU: A Partnership with a Unique Mission

May 21 2019

Devin Krotman


Just over three years ago, XPRIZE launched the USD 5 million IBM Watson AI XPRIZE with the mission of accelerating the AI for Good movement.

With artificial intelligence (specifically, the subfield of machine learning) evolving so quickly, we felt it was the right time to create a prize competition dedicated to using AI to solve the world’s grand challenges.

The multi-year competition has yielded 34 active and current teams from 10 different countries working across 12 different problem areas with a planned Grand Prize Ceremony/Showcase for April 2020 at the TED 2020 Conference in Vancouver.

This competition has provided concrete proof points of “AI for Good” in action, where our teams are using AI to solve global problems, including  preventing malaria, detecting low birth weight, predicting disasters, and treating depression.

The dialogue on AI for Good requires multiple actors to help move it forward and create harmonization around the topic. This is why XPRIZE and ITU came together three years ago to co-create and launch the AI for Good Global Summit.

A Summit unlike any other

The summit is unlike any other. It convenes stakeholders from multiple disciplines across the globe to critically think through how AI can be applied to and support a wide range of issues.

Aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) means AI should positively impact better health outcomes, help foster inclusive societies, and provide high-quality education to all students, among various other benefits.

As our society advances, elements of AI are embedded into everything we do more each day, and establishing a uniform understanding of how humans and machines can collaborate together has become a priority. The AI for Good Global Summit plays a key role in helping to establish this understanding.

Next steps in the AI XPRIZE competition

During this year’s Summit in Geneva, the AI XPRIZE will also be gathering the active teams and mentors to discuss the next steps in the competition.

With less than one year left in the competition, these teams are focusing on collecting data to fully validate their solutions, while balancing ethical considerations of their solution and assessing the true impact of their technology and products on their chosen problem area.

This once-in-a-competition meet-up at the Summit  is critical in helping to determine how these products can have a true impact on society as a whole.

If you are on site in Geneva, please reach out to the XPRIZE staff (at ai@xprize.org) to learn more about our active teams and to directly connect with them to see how you can support them.

With AI touching almost everything we do at XPRIZE - from education to health, from robotics to the environment - the AI for Good Global Summit is a pivotal milestone and opportunity for XPRIZE to share out the important work currently being done in our ecosystem and what we believe the future of AI holds.

Devin Krotman