2020 Nittany AI Challenge to showcase artificial intelligence's power for good

Brad Zdenek, innovation strategist for the Nittany AI Alliance; Christina Warren and Matthew Mancini, creators of Revu; Daren Coudriet, director of the Nittany AI Alliance; and Tracey Huston, vice president for Penn State Outreach, at the check presentation to Revu, one of the winning teams in the 2019 Nittany AI Challenge. Credit: Penn State / Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Idea submissions are now being accepted for the 2020 Nittany AI Challenge. Student teams with a wide variety of skill sets are invited to submit their ideas for using artificial intelligence to improve the world by providing solutions for problems within the areas of education, health, sustainability, climate change and humanitarian challenges.

Teams selected to participate in the three-phase process will be assisted in developing a minimal viable product (MVP) and have opportunities to receive prizes from a pool of $50,000. The deadline for idea submissions is Jan. 31, 2020.

Brad Zdenek, innovation strategist for the Nittany AI Alliance, said students do not have to be coders to participate, as each team has a need for various skill sets.

“The Nittany AI Challenge is about providing opportunities to be inspired, to learn about AI, to work with top AI companies, and to combine the creativity of our Penn State community with the power of AI to address the challenges facing our world,” said Zdenek. “We are very excited to expand the 2020 challenge to focus on AI for good.”

During the idea phase, teams can submit a short proposal describing the challenge they want to address, its intended impact, and how AI will be used to develop the solution. Interest areas for the 2020 Nittany AI Challenge include:

  • AI in Education: Using AI to drive and increase access to educational opportunities and/or a reduction in time and cost to earn a degree.
  • AI in Health: Using AI to ensure healthy lives, improve nutrition, achieve food security and promote sustainable agriculture.
  • AI for Humanitarianism: Leveraging AI to address humanitarian challenges around the world.
  • AI for sustainability and climate change: Using AI to decrease the impact of major contributors to our planet’s climate change challenges.

2020 Nittany AI Challenge schedule:

  • Idea phase deadline: Jan. 31, 2020
  • Prototype phase presentations: April 1, 2020
  • MVPs due: Aug. 10, 2020
  • MVP pitches and Challenge Celebration: Sept. 10, 2020

For more information about the 2020 Nittany AI Challenge, join us for webinars, an ideation workshop on Jan. 18 in Room 100 of the Business Building on the University Park campus, and explore the Team Tool to create a team or join an existing team. The challenge is open to students in all Penn State colleges and at all Commonwealth Campuses.

Last Updated December 11, 2019