10 teams selected to receive funding for MVP phase of 2021 Nittany AI Challenge

April 28, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Ten student teams will be funded to compete in the final phase of the 2021 Nittany AI Challenge. Each team will be awarded $1,500 from a prize pool of $50,000 to further develop solutions that address real-world challenges in education, environment, health and humanitarianism and create a minimum viable product (MVP).

The challenge is an annual competition facilitated by the Nittany AI Alliance, a service of Penn State Outreach. New to this year’s challenge is the IBM Watson Advantage in which IBM is sponsoring the advancement of one of the team’s competing in the health pillar — The Mental Health Project — to the final round.

Brad Zdenek, innovation strategist for the Nittany AI Alliance, said the selected teams exemplify determination to change the world.

“The creativity, skill and ambition of our students is on full display in these Nittany AI Challenge teams,” Zdenek said. “From addressing our mental health crisis to protecting biodiversity, the top 10 teams moving forward shine a light on the potential for this generation of students to positively impact the world using the power of AI. Working hand-in-hand with companies such as IBM, they are helping to shape a better future for all of us.”

The following teams will be funded to create an MVP:

AIPR: Computer vision-based solution automating the sorting of recyclables to be faster, easier and more economical.

Briefly: Improving students' learning efficiency in the remote setting by building a smart video summarizer to provide students an in-depth overview of online video lectures.

BuriedDeep ML: Making recycling profitable by creating actionable maps of valuable metal deposits in landfills with cutting edge reinforcement learning algorithms and an all-terrain robot.

InsectEye: Helping entomologists monitor insect biodiversity through the automation of data collection on insect communities.

Psy Space: Counseling and recovery platform that provides students mental health assistance through personalized and immediate therapy sessions while equipping users with the knowledge and guidance to assist in reestablishing mental well-being.

Reconnect: Virtual companions that monitor excessive screen time and suggest real-world activities as alternatives.

Table Rock Markets: Online marketplace for consumers to buy locally grown products directly from farmers.

The Mental Health Project: Providing fast diagnostics, treatment and identification of patients who may be difficult to treat, by aggregating initial self-reported data and tracking patients' progress over time.

Trace: Using AI to detect human traffic to improve security monitoring, disaster management and urban planning through an intelligent web app.

TwinnR: AI-driven solution to access data and better provide smart manufacturing solutions.

All teams competing in the final phase of the challenge will present their MVP to a panel of judges in August. Finalists will be announced at a celebration event in September and will be awarded the remaining funds from the $50,000 prize pool.

To learn more about the Nittany AI Challenge, the IBM Watson Advantage, AI workshops and events, visit the Nittany AI Alliance online.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 28, 2021