Today I have the pleasure of announcing the winners of the Imagine Cup Junior 2020 AI for Good Challenge.
The Imagine Cup Junior AI for Good Challenge is a global competition designed to empower students to learn about artificial intelligence and other technologies, then apply these technologies to address one of the initiatives: AI for Accessibility, Earth, Cultural Heritage, and Humanitarian Action. Today’s announcement recognizes the top three submissions from each geographic area, including Asia, the Americas, and EMEA, and celebrates all the submissions that were received throughout the duration of the challenge.
Imagine Cup Junior 2020 provided an opportunity for students globally to learn about AI regardless of their current technology knowledge or capability. Students were asked to select an issue facing the world, conduct research, create, and articulate their concept using AI, and then showcase their understanding of the ethical and responsible use of AI.
Students were also given the opportunity to use the Wick Editor, giving them the chance to get hands-on with Azure and bring their concepts to life. Thousands of educators from all over the world registered for the challenge on behalf of their students, downloaded the curriculum, and helped students learn about AI and how it can be used for good. They discussed how these learnings align with Microsoft’s AI for Good initiatives.
What amazes me is the resilience of our educators and students. Despite the challenges of a global pandemic and adjusting to remote learning, students found creative ways to bring their teams together, innovate, and learn about AI along the way. The standard of the submissions was truly overwhelming. Many students chose issues that were meaningful to them, whether it was hardships experienced by friends or family, issues they have read about in the news, or their determination to preserve the earth and create a better world for future generations. Every student who took part brought their hearts to their projects and this really came through to all the judges.
I am overjoyed to celebrate these projects with you. Here are the top submissions and summaries of what each student team proposed that they would like to create:
- “Team 7” from Raffles Institution in Singapore: An app using facial and gesture recognition to provide means of communication for people who can’t speak. They wanted to create this app to help one of the students communicate with a grandparent, who had recently had a tracheotomy.
- “Laughter catcher” from St. Paul’s Convent School for Girls in Hong Kong: An app to spread happiness through a social platform by sharing videos of laughter and influencing others.
- “Team Impact Vivarta” from Daffodils School in India: An end-to-end construction company that helps reduce waste through AI systems and improvements of eco-friendly designs to help the Earth.
- “Wanderguardian” from Westview High School in California: An app designed to reduce the risk of wandering among people with neurological disorders through a geofencing system.
- “ABBY”, the Autism band for youth from St. Paul Catholic High School in Connecticut: A smart watch to support young people with autism by identifying and reducing their anxiety and supporting their communication and social skills.
- “Aegis emote” from James E. Taylor High School in Texas: An app to recognize and prevent emotional volatility, using AI to detect physical cues and provide intervention.
- “Retromate” from Queen Elizabeth’s School for Boys in the UK: An Internet-connected hub that dispenses, chats, and detects loneliness, controlled by a virtual caregiver to support independence for the elderly who require care but want to stay at home.
- “Lung pal” from GEMS Wellington Academy in Dubai: An app to support the early detection of lung disease using neural networks to classify breathing confidence values. This was also designed to reduce the pressure on hospitals during the current pandemic.
- “Memoria AI” from the International School of Lausanne in Switzerland: An AI system to engage dementia patients by using photo recognition to support cognitive development and combat isolation, particularly with the current stay-at-home orders.
We received so many more innovative submissions, and I wish we could share them all. We want to congratulate and share thanks from the Imagine Cup Junior team here at Microsoft to every student and educator who took part in the challenge. We can’t wait to hear from you in the future and see how you continue to create innovative ideas on how to use AI to improve our world.
To anyone who is starting their journey of learning AI, take a look at MakeCode, Minecraft Hour of Code AI, Hacking STEM, and Microsoft Learn. For students older than 16 who want to take learning further, I encourage you to register for the Imagine Cup Collegiate Challenge and apply to be a Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador. And you can join us for Imagine Cup Junior 2021 when we do this all again!