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IBM announces global Call for Code artificial intelligence hackathon winners

The global hackathon, now in its sixth year, gives participants access to advanced AI, cloud computing and blockchain technology.

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Source: Cointelegraph

The David Clark Cause, IBM, the United Nations Human Rights Office of the Commissioner and the Linux Foundation announced the winners of the 2023 Call for Code hackathon on Dec. 6.

Call for Code is the largest annual event of its kind, gathering participants from more than 180 nations who have produced a collective 24,000 applications to date, according to the David Clark Cause.

This year’s contest focused on solving “the most pressing global issues of our time” using available technologies, including IBM’s generative artificial intelligence (AI) service, watsonx. It included grand prizes awarded in three separate participant categories: developer, university and independent vendor/startup.

Winners are slated to receive an award of $50,000 plus development support from IBM and its partners.

And the winners are:

AGNO, a team from Hexaware Technologies, won the developer category. The team developed the Farmistar AI platform to help small farmers develop crop management strategies derived from real-time insights.

The winner in the university category is Phyto, a team of students from The University of Sydney. They used IBM Watson Studio and the IBM Environmental Intelligence Suite to build an AI-powered geospatial and weather analytics tool that helps farmers rehabilitate contaminated soil using natural processes.

Finally, in the independent vendor/startup category, Synergy Squad, a team from the digital engineering firm Persistent, took top marks for Offshelf, its text-to-speech-powered consumer waste reduction platform.

Generative AI

The onset of the generative pre-trained transformer (GPT) era, with OpenAI’s ChatGPT leading the way, has led to the mass proliferation of generative AI technologies. But, despite the popularity of “chatbot” style interfaces trained on internet-sized data sets, the most popular consumer-facing models aren’t typically considered accurate or secure enough for business.

However, generative AI developed and trained with enterprise data, and with a focus on security, currently play a large role in enterprise. Amazon’s Titan foundational models and IBM’s watsonx are among the most widely used.

The watsonx platform is IBM’s version of a one-stop-shop for enterprise-focused generative AI solutions. It includes foundational models, a data store and a developer toolkit.

Outside of the chat box and the IT stack, generative AI can function as a tunable interface that allows engineers, developers and users to surface insights in real time. As the above contest winners demonstrated, this can be useful for everything from farm-scale weather forecasting to curbing household waste.

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