As COVID-19 rates continue to surge in countries around the world, XPRIZE, the world leader in designing and operating incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges, in partnership with Cognizant, one of the world's leading technology and professional services companies, have launched a new Pandemic Response Challenge, a competition aimed at harnessing the power of data and AI to equip policy makers, health officials, and business leaders with the insights and guidance needed to implement public safety measures that maximize their ability to keep local economies open while minimizing potential virus breakouts.
Based on technology and AI models developed by Cognizant, and using data compiled by the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker (based at Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government), competing teams will build data-driven AI models that predict local COVID-19 transmission rates and prescribe intervention and mitigation measures that, with testing in “what-if” scenarios, are shown to minimize infection rates as well as negative economic impacts. Successful models may also serve as a roadmap for future crises.
The challenge is the first competition to launch out of XPRIZE’s AI and Data for Good Alliance, a brain trust focused on enabling and cultivating actionable and tangible solutions to some of the world's most immediate challenges through the use of data sciences, machine learning, and AI.
A total prize purse of $500,000 will be awarded at the conclusion of the challenge.
Unlike other XPRIZE competitions, the urgent need to end the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating impacts has led Cognizant and XPRIZE to drive an accelerated four-month timeframe for the challenge. Teams must register to join the competition by December 8. In Phase 1, teams will provide accurate predictions of COVID-19 transmission based on local data, unique intervention strategies, and mitigation policies and practices by December 22. In Phase 2, the top 50 teams will provide models that will be evaluated for their potential efficacy in minimizing the number of cases and the stringency (i.e., cost) of the intervention plans (IPs). Phase 2 will conclude in February 2021. Throughout each phase, teams will be provided with cloud and compute services, courtesy of supporting partner AWS, in order to facilitate development of their proposed solutions. To date, 102 teams from 23 countries have registered to participate.
For more information, see the XPrize Pandemic Response Challenge website.