Digital Catapult has given its support to a £4.08m challenge to explore how humans can use AI to tackle the world’s biggest challenges, such as poverty, health and sustainable energy.

The UK innovation centre will support the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE by offering technical experts as mentors.

It will also form a hub for UK teams by hosting events, meet-ups and take a lead in helping to showcase the best competitors to come out of the UK.

XPRIZE offers competitors a rare chance to work on applications using AI, machine learning, predictive technologies, robotics and other advanced technologies.

Teams have the freedom to define their own goals and have the unique opportunity to potentially attract investment and compete for the main prize in the final at TED 2020.

Dr Jeremy Silver, CEO at Digital Catapult said: “AI is already beginning to play a fascinating role in our lives and its potential to transform the lives of consumers, businesses and governments is on a grand scale.

“We are seeing an explosion of really exciting UK AI companies, working on significant development of algorithms in areas like image interpretation and natural language processing.

“If we get it right, the benefits of AI may be deployed to help solve some of society’s grandest challenges.

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“We look forward to sharing all kinds of new learnings from the entries to this exciting competition.”

Artificial intelligence and machine learning fall under one of the four priority technology areas that are strategically important for Digital Catapult and also aligns to Innovate UK’s emerging and enabling technologies strategy.

The organization will be supporting the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE as part of its mission to help the UK achieve the full potential of digital technologies.

XPRIZE, the global leader in incentivized prize competitions, aims to accelerate adoption of AI technologies, and spark creative, innovative and audacious demonstrations of the technology that are truly scalable.

The call for teams to enter closes on 19 January 2017.

For more information about XPRIZE, please visit www.xprize.org. For further information about Digital Catapult, please visit www.digitalcatapultcentre.org.uk