The AI Community brings together hackers, doctors and biologists to build tech solutions addressing the global pandemic.
- SingularityNET and Ocean Protocol come together to leverage AI for social impact and launch DAIA’s first hackathon.
- Backed by world-class experts in data privacy, artificial intelligence, genetics, healthcare, blockchain.
- The eight-week hackathon features four tracks including Data Privacy, Epidemiology & Medicine, Informational & Coping Tools, and Open Innovation.
London March 26th: Decentralized Artificial Intelligence Alliance (DAIA), an organization of 50+ companies, labs and nonprofits, is initiating COVIDathon, the world’s first decentralized AI hackathon with a mission to develop and launch open-source code and tools, supported, informed, and guided by medical, AI, and blockchain experts and principles, to reduce the risk of current and future infectious outbreaks, and cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is imperative for those with AI expertise to help with the COVID-19 pandemic,” explains Dr. Ben Goertzel, AI pioneer, Chairman of DAIA and CEO of SingularityNET. “From aiding with biomedicine and epidemiology to ensuring that data privacy is respected as the pandemic is tracked and studied, to creating democratically-evolving tools for sharing information and helping people cope -- the number of ways AI can support in this unprecedented situation is vast.”
“The coronavirus is a relentless threat to people and the global economy. For the first time, the world is united against a common enemy. By freely sharing data and AI on a global scale, technologists can bring their special talents to bear and get ahead of this menace to defeat it,” says Bruce Pon, leader in blockchain and Co-Founder of Ocean Protocol.
The founding members - SingularityNET and Ocean Protocol, are also supported by world class leaders in blockchain, genetics and healthcare. This includes:
- NTH Opinion, a US-based AI healthtech firm, founded by medical doctors currently on the frontline fighting the COVID-19.
- Aragon, an open-source software project that allows for the creation and management of decentralized organizations (DAOs).
- Shivom, biotech data and genetics analytics firm.
- NEM, peer-to-peer blockchain platform.
Teams from DAIA’s member list and beyond are joining the effort, responding to the urgent global need for innovative technology and organization relevant to combating COVID-19 and minimizing risk of further pandemics.
“The value of decentralized AI is especially powerful here, because only AI that's developed and deployed in a decentralized way puts the tools for combating COVID-19 in the hands of the affected people themselves,” adds Dr. Goertzel. “To provide what's needed on the time-scale demanded is going to require a coordinated effort across the AI development community which is why we’ve initiated COVIDathon.”
The COVIDathon founding members will provide tech assistance, technology and 1-on-1 mentorship to the hackathon participants. COVIDathon leadership is looking for other projects, both DAIA and non-DAIA members, to collaborate in supporting the initiative.
The COVIDathon, hosted on DevPost, will officially start on April 1st and submissions will be open until June 1st. The hackathon features four distinct tracks:
- Data Privacy and Sovereignty
- Medicine and Epidemiology
- Informational and Coping Tools
- Open Innovation
Dr. Axel Shumacher, geneticist and Co-Founder of decentralized biomedical AI project Shivom notes: “COVIDathon provides a platform to be proactive, collaborative, inspired, and to help solve one of the biggest puzzles of our time.”
The not-for-profit hackathon is open to active participation from developers, technologists, doctors, entrepreneurs worldwide. An expert panel of judges will be assembled, including AI, blockchain and medical experts, to assess the contributions for each track.
COVID-19 has disrupted the lives of millions, starting in China, and expanding worldwide. The global economy continues to be seriously impacted, as well as routine social activity. The majority of reports state that with or without travel bans, social distancing and other measures, the virus and its effects will continue to proliferate for weeks, most likely for months to come. Important resources are currently being used in the development and testing for a vaccine which will likely continue for the next 12 to 18 months.
While China has fairly effectively used its centralized power to provide medical data to research institutes and location data of its citizens to track down the virus, China’s centralized control of information dissemination was also partly responsible for the speed of spread of the virus in its early days. Conversely, other nations such as the US which have responded to COVID-19 in a more localized and distributed manner have been slowed and hampered by lack of effective decentralized methods for coordination and information dissemination. We propose to use cutting-edge decentralized technology to provide more effective ways of addressing the multiple problems associated with tracking, controlling, understanding and ultimately curing pandemics. Due to time sensitivity, the most applicable and scalable solutions will be made public to support the general scientific community.
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