The launch of the Ansari XPRIZE over 25 years ago, catalyzed the commercial space market - and ever since, XPRIZE has understood the power of technology to change the world. If incentivized competitions aimed at grand challenges were the vehicle for changing the world - then technology was the engine that accelerated that future. But what if we flipped the script and made the technology the center of the challenge?
That is the bold undertaking that IBM & XPRIZE made nearly seven years ago when the $5M IBM Watson AI XPRIZE was launched. This prize was challenge-agnostic and instead focused on artificial intelligence (AI), technology that has the power to change the world. The goal of the competition was simple: teams were asked to leverage AI (or any of the subfields of AI) to solve a global challenge facing humanity.
The intent of the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE was to establish a more balanced dialogue around AI - shifting it away from a dystopian one, towards one that offered a more optimistic and balanced future where human + machine collaboration can solve some of the most critical societal challenges. By not setting a problem to solve - XPRIZE encouraged teams to pick their own “challenge”, which resulted in over 150 teams signing up to deliver solutions that covered more than half of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
At the inception of this prize, the dialogue around AI for Good was limited at best. Upon it’s completion, the prize had made a clear and distinct impact on the world’s understanding of the power of AI for Good, driving those thoughts and words into action around the globe. Today, AI for Good has become top of mind for, enterprise, academia, and governments all working to incorporate the ethical use of AI.
While the future of any technology, including AI, has yet to be written completely - because of this prize and the vision of IBM to invest in it - we have at least taken the first steps towards a future with a more healthy and balanced relationship with AI.
To celebrate the impact of the competition, today, we are excited to debut a first-of-its-kind XPRIZE short-form documentary, which follows the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE and highlights the winning team’s 5-year, compelling journey to victory. You can watch The Power of AI for Good now, by clicking the video link below.
Please help XPRIZE spread the message around AI for Good by sharing this documentary!