Imagine if Samantha from the movie “Her” could deliver a dynamic, engaging and totally human TED Talk. That’s what the nonprofit hopes will be a reality in the near future. TED wants to find out if an artificial intelligence can deliver a talk that wows the audience at a future conference.
During the TEDActive 2014 conference on March 20, Chris Anderson, curator of TED, and Peter Diamandis, founder of the XPRIZE, announced the formation of the A.I. XPRIZE where the winner will receive a lucrative award for delivering a talk that receives a standing ovation.
Presented by TED, the A.I. XPRIZE has no set rules or time frame for a winner to claim the prize. The open-ended challenge is a way for developers to create artificial intelligence (AI) programs that could one day pass for a human. Diamandis said in a statement, “This global competition could help spur its development across a myriad of areas – including biological research, exploration, education, health care, and fields we have not yet even imagined.”
So far, the A.I. XPRIZE is in its infancy with the rules to be determined in the near future. Diamandis wants the public to shape the rules and to determine how the prize is won (users can submit their ideas here). Some examples could include how the TED Talk will be held, whether an AI voice can present, the length of the presentation, how the topic is chosen and how much time is given for preparation. Even the award itself is up for discussion, as users may determine if the prize is given out annually or as a “first-to-win” competition.
Anderson said in a statement, “We're entering a future in which humans and machines must learn new ways to work with each other. My hope is this prize will fuel that process. I predict that within a few years we'll be blown away by what artificial intelligences can do. We also may learn what they can't do so well.”
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In addition to the new A.I. XPRIZE, the organization has several active competitions with millions of dollars at stake. The Google Lunar XPRIZE is offering $30 million in prizes, with $20 million going to the first private company to land on the moon, travel 500 meters and transmit two “Mooncasts” by Dec. 31, 2015.
There is a $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE to create a wireless device that can monitor and diagnose the user’s health, the $2 million Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE to develop new technology to study ocean acidification and the $2.25 million Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE for health-sensing technologies.