While the future holds great promise, one key to greater success in driving global economic development lies in empowering today’s students with the skills they will need to be successful and thrive in this digital, ever-changing economy. Countries that invest quickly in developing the skilled workforce with digital and technical skills will do more than create an economic advantage; they will empower their populations to lead innovation and growth.
Empowering every student on the planet to achieve more by developing their technology skills
Using the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and computing skills to make a difference to individuals and their communities, Microsoft is committed to helping every learner with access to the best learning opportunities, regardless of ability, income, language, location/mobility, or identity. To reach that goal, Microsoft offers comprehensive products, partners, content, and curriculum that help educators ignite their students’ interest and ready them for the future.
Programs and leading technology competitions like Microsoft Imagine Cup Junior can help educators in teaching new technology concepts and promote students’ critical thinking when used in sophisticated ways for deeper, more engaged learning. Students learn in different ways through many possible avenues and experiences. Microsoft programs and tools help educators reach diverse student audiences to guide them through their journeys and make the learning experience more personalized.
Now in its fourth year, Microsoft Imagine Cup Junior 2023 (ICJ) is a global student competition for students ages 13-18 focused on understanding and application of AI for Good in a tech challenge with competitors from around the world. Leveraging ICJ, educators utilize Microsoft-created lessons to teach their students about AI technologies, students form teams, and apply the lessons learned through the AI-infused curriculum to dream up a solution to solve the world’s biggest challenges. ICJ is a timely opportunity to demonstrate how Microsoft is enabling teaching AI to all students regardless of their technical skills and increasing AI awareness and application in daily lives. ICJ also includes deeper learning for students who are interested in pursuing a career in technology and is a way to start/continue the conversation for a next step toward Microsoft Fundamentals industry-recognized certification.
”Students want to explore how they can make a real and positive difference in the world; they see technologies like AI as an enabler for them to contribute to a brighter and more equitable future.” Christina Thoresen, Director, Worldwide Public Sector Education, Microsoft
This year’s competition was intense and the largest participation ever with ICJ team entries from more than 100 countries. Today, we are excited to announce the top AI projects and the winning student teams and countries of this year’s Imagine Cup Junior AI for Good Challenge. The entire Microsoft community and our judges from across the industry and around the world continue to be impressed by the students’ ideas and their sensitivity towards addressing global issues, using Microsoft’s technology, AI curriculum, and their continued curiosity to learn as AI tools evolve.
"The Imagine Cup Junior is more than a competition. It is a learning journey that empowers students to develop their skills in AI and other technologies. These students have shown us how AI can be used for good, to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems and create a better future for everyone. I’m proud to be a part of this journey and congratulate all the competitors – and winners -- for their remarkable achievements." Stephen Ibaraki, Founder, UN AI for Good and Imagine Cup Junior 2023 judge
The top 10 winning teams in the Imagine Cup Junior 2023 global competition are listed below in alphabetical order:
- AI for Memory Loss, Ireland: AI for Memory Loss is an app that uses Azure Cognitive Services to help people with dementia navigate through their daily lives.
- Data Dynamos, India: Cancerscope is an AI app that creates a predictive model to find the probability of cancer in a person and recommends preventive measures.
- FoodPrintBot, Singapore: FoodPrintBot is a multimodal bot that can detect food waste, encourage people to donate food based on the amount of waste, and provide advice on how to reduce food waste in the future.
- Frontiers, China: AI for Analyzing the Completeness of Damaged Cultural Relics is an AI-driven cultural relic generator app that creates complete images and 3D models of damaged relics, assesses the condition of artifacts, and prioritizes restoration projects.
- GOATS, Vietnam: IntelliGlow is a smart lighting system that minimizes electricity consumption while maintaining sufficient lighting.
- Hacktivists of Wall Street, United States: Educate AI is an education tool that makes learning easy for anyone, including those with learning disabilities or those who cannot afford private tutors, by creating notes and quizzes from any video in any language.
- Rehabity, United Arab Emirates: Rehabity is an AI skin-applied patch and app that helps people recovering from addiction.
- Shiny Stars, Saudi Arabia: Smart chip for aphasia patients is a smart chip that connects to a smartphone application, compatible with all spoken and written international human languages, and allows communication between aphasia patients and other people by translating it into readable or audible text.
- SoySquad, United Kingdom: StreetSmarts is an AI app that displays the safest route for pedestrians allowing for easy and safe navigation of busy streets around London and application for cities of the world.
- TA Cubed, Australia: TA Cubed is an AI interactive mobile application that provides resources and techniques designed to relieve anxiety disorders and address mental health for children and teenagers.
As we celebrate these winning teams and all ICJ student participants from across the world, our hope is that the emergence of AI applications in society and the competition will continue to spur educators, students, parents, and policymakers to come together to consider what skills our students really need to navigate uncertainty, solve complex challenges, and shape meaningful futures in a changing economy. This means embracing the challenge to provide learning that fosters agency, awareness, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, connectedness, and well-being.
In 2023, both the Malaysia and Saudi Arabia Ministries of Education exhibited their leadership by initiating national initiatives to introduce the ICJ curriculum and competition across the country for all secondary schools for use in classrooms by educators to teach AI concepts and lessons. We look forward to more partnerships to advance student technical skills in the future.
From the examples in countries around the world, we already see that AI tools deployed by well-trained and well-supported teachers can be invaluable for accelerating progress and opportunity in schools, Imagine Cup Junior offers a great example of the power of introducing emerging technologies into schools for students to thrive and prepare for their futures.
When you are excited, you learn!
That’s what the Imagine Cup Junior’s participating students teach us every single year.
“The ICJ competition really opened my mind in terms of how big a part AI will be in our lives," said a participating student. “AI is something I want to study at [the] university.”
Congratulations again to all of our competitors in 2023 – you inspire us! Stay tuned for more information about future skills and learning opportunities with Microsoft. And in the meantime, check out links below to learn more and further advance your journey of learning AI.
Are you starting your journey of learning or teaching AI?
Take a look at the following resources:
- For students: Microsoft Learn Student Hub, Microsoft MakeCode, Minecraft Education Hour of Code, and Hacking STEM.
- For educators: Microsoft Learn Educator Center and Microsoft Learn for Educators Program
Students older than 16 who want to take their learning and competitive experience even further are encouraged to register for the 2024 Imagine Cup Challenge and/or apply to be a Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador at a university or college.
Watch for future Imagine Cup Junior competition information at Imagine Cup Junior 2023 | Imagine Cup (microsoft.com).