artificial intelligence X Prize
The competition aims to advance AI and accelerate solutions to global issuesFind Biometrics

IBM and the X Prize Foundation have announced a competition offering a $5m (£3.5m, €4.5m) reward for teams that can use artificial intelligence to tackle some of the world's major issues. The IBM Watson AI X Prize will be awarded to the team that is deemed to have used artificial intelligence to help solve problems such as climate change.

The winner will be announced at TED 2020. Every year until then, teams will compete at IBM's annual World of Watson conference to compete for interim prizes and the opportunity to qualify for the following year's competition.

Three finalist teams will then take to the stage at TED 2020 to demonstrate what they have achieved. A panel of expert judges will evaluate each demonstration for technical validity and "audacity", before a winner is chosen by the TED and X Prize communities.

Previous X Prize competitions have tasked contestants with putting a robot on the moon, developing technologies for mapping the ocean's floor and a inventing a means of converting CO2 into building materials.

While recent reports have stoked fears that AI could ultimately put humans out of work or perhaps worse, IBM said the Watson AI X Prize would "accelerate the creation of landmark breakthroughs that deliver new, positive impacts to peoples' lives, and the transformation of industries and professions."

The company added: "We believe that cognitive technologies like Watson represent an entirely new era of computing, and that we are forging a new partnership between humans and technology that will enable us to address many of humanity's most significant challenges – from climate change, to education, to healthcare."

Competition hopefuls can register here.