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Want $2 million? Check out DARPA’s AI-powered radio contest

DARPA is beginning a three-years long competition in 2017 to encourage the development of AI solutions to radio congestion.
By
July 20, 2016
DARPA Vector Logo.eps

If you’re in the market for a cool $2 million prize and also have AI and radio technology chops – as well as a dev team and three years to spare – then you might be interested in DARPA’s upcoming Grand Challenge. The organization wants to incentivize solution-finding for wireless congestion, so they’re planning on doling out nearly 4 million bucks to competitors.

Here’s the problem. Our communications are leaning increasingly on wireless technology. However, there’s only so much useable space on the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation. As more and more devices are hopping into the conversation, and with the Internet of Things and autonomous vehicles looming, radio frequencies are getting increasingly congested.

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One solution that DARPA anticipates is the use of artificial intelligence to allow devices to intelligently speak around each other, avoiding interference with live fluidity. They want the best and the brightest minds working on this, as its military use is particularly promising. Hence the creation of this competition.

The challenge will take place over the course of the next three years. Teams that make it through the preliminary phase of 2017 will continue competing for the grand prize in the two years to come. In 2019, DARPA will award $2 million cash to the team that comes up with the best solutions set, and it seems likely that they would be awarded a funded contract as well. Any team coming in second place will net $1 million, and the bronze medal team will snag $750,000.

What are your thoughts regarding DARPA’s AI-powered radio research competition? Let us know your opinion in the comments below!

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