The 2018 AI Challenger Global AI Contest is being co-organized by Sinovation Ventures—along with Sougo, Meituan-Dianping, and Meitu—and it features 10+ brand-new datasets, and a $450,000 USD prize.

Udacity - Sinovation - AI Challenger - 2018

In September of 2017, as an exclusive global education partner, Udacity had the pleasure of announcing details of a new AI competition and open data initiative organized by Sinovation Ventures. The event was entitled the AI Challenger Global AI Contest, and as Udacity COO Clarissa Chen noted in her contest announcement, “Artificial Intelligence has hit fever pitch in China. From cutting-edge tech powerhouses to established large corporations, everyone is setting up new AI Labs, hiring new talent, and announcing new platforms. “AI First” is the order of the day in China, and the excitement around this transformational technology is incredible.”

Success in 2017

The energy around AI across China was indeed incredible, and the subsequent success of the competition was clear evidence that it had been a perfect time to launch this kind of effort. Approximately 9000 teams from more than 60 different countries participated in the AI Challenger Global AI Contest, in 2017, and as reported by China Daily at the conclusion of the competition:

“AI Challenger released over 300,000 image-based as well as over 10 million language-based data entries to talents working on new technologies that will help AI applications ‘see’ and ‘read’ our world better.”

The 2018 AI Challenger Global AI Contest

China continues to represent a remarkable nexus for global AI innovation, and the 2018 AI Challenger Global AI Contest returns bigger, broader, and with more data than ever. As with last year, Udacity is especially pleased to be an exclusive global education partner, and we are excited to extend our ongoing collaboration with Sinovation Ventures to include new courses developed specifically to support contest entrants.

Udacity courses to support contest entrants

We have created a series of four paid courses that represent four subject fields relevant to the content: Image Captioning, Machine Translation, Simultaneous Interpretation, and Image Classification. These new courses will enable participants in China to refresh their skill sets on key topics, enjoy access to the datasets, and get critical practice as they prepare for—and move through—the different stages of the contest.

Kai-Fu Lee, Sinovation Ventures, and “AI Superpowers”

In addition to these courses, Kai-Fu Lee, the former head of Google China and the founder of Sinovation Ventures—has filmed a series of online classes with the goal of introducing AI to a much broader audience, and these classes will feature exclusive contributions from Udacity, to help define and make clear key terms used throughout the series. To learn more about Kai-Fu, we encourage you to read his best-selling new book entitled “AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order.” Arianna Huffington, the Founder of HuffPost, and the Founder & CEO of Thrive Global, describes the book in powerful terms:

“Kai-Fu Lee’s experience as an AI pioneer, top investor, and cancer survivor has led to this brilliant book about global technology. AI Superpowers gives us a guide to a future that celebrates all the benefits that AI will bring, while cultivating what is unique about our humanity. It’s one of those books you read and think, ‘Why are people reading any other book right now when this is so clearly the one they need to be reading?’”

On October 16, Kai-Fu Lee will be our guest for a very special episode of Udacity Talks, in which we’ll discuss his new book, his vision for the future of AI, and his work with Sinovation Ventures.

Competition tracks

The 2018 AI Challenger Global AI Contest is being co-organized by Sinovation Ventures, along with Sougo, Meituan-Dianping, and Meitu, and it features 10+ brand-new datasets, and a $450,000 USD prize. The event is actually made up of several different competitions, and the goal is to discover, nurture, and provide opportunity for AI talent across the globe, and to support efforts to solve real-world problems through the integration of research and applications.

Competition tracks for the 2018 contest include:

  • Machine Reading Comprehension
  • Sentiment Analysis of User Reviews
  • English-Chinese Machine Translation
  • Real-Time Video Classification
  • Autonomous Driving Perception

Tech Forums and Contest Details

A key feature of the 2018 contest are the tech forums being held at universities in cities around the world. Among the locations are Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai in China; Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Palo Alto, and Seattle in the U.S; Dublin, Munich, and Paris in Europe, and Sydney, Delhi, Tokyo, and Seoul, in the Asia-Pacific region.

The 2018 AI Challenger Global AI Contest officially kicked off on August 29, with the first datasets being made available at that time.  The finals will be on December 18-19, 2018, and this will include the award ceremony. Specific details can be found on the event landing page.

We encourage anyone with a passion for AI to consider entering this contest. It is open to global participation, and represents an incredible opportunity to engage with—and contribute to—the future of this transformational technology. Enter the 2018 AI Challenger Global AI Contest today!