The X Prize Foundation and IBM have launched a new global X Prize competition focused on artificial intelligence. Teams all over the world can join the "IBM Watson A.I. X Prize: A Cognitive Computing Competition" in the hopes of winning a part of $5 million reward being offered. Registration begins at the end of May.

While developments in AI remains promising, there is no clear consensus on what it can do, what it might be useful for, and what dangers there might be.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is looking to AI to make homes "smarter." Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is afraid it may be used by terrorists .While Alphabet chairman Eric Schmidt believes that AI can help solve the world's harder problems.

The new X Prize competition is more optimistic than some of these. The contest seeks to accelerating the creation of breakthroughs that deliver positive impacts to peoples’ lives. "For us it’s the possibility that we can cure cancer, that we can address climate change, the possibilities are wonderful and exciting and endless," says Stephanie Wander, an X Prize Development Associate and design lead for this competition. "That’s the stuff that sometimes gets a little lost when you go right to the Terminator."

Participants are free to choose where they will apply AI technology,  from climate change to education to healthcare (the competition is open-ended). The end goal is to demonstrate how humans can work with cognitive and AI technologies to solve some of the world's grandest challenges.

Three finalists from the competition will ultimately take the stage at TED2020 to present their promising work.

Source: IBM

This recent competition is just another entry in the lost list of competitions that the X Prize Foundation has run for the past 20 years. It's first was the Ansari X Prize, which challenged teams to build spacecraft that could take passengers to suborbital space. The contest would lead to the start of the private space industry and the winning design would become the foundation for Richard Branson's commercial spaceflight operation, Virgin Galactic

Other running competitions from the X Prize Foundation aim to land rovers on the Moon, or explore the depths of the Earth's oceans.

Previous competitions had laid out specific goals or requirements to be achieved by the winning design, but the AI X Prize differs as X Prize is allowing teams to define their own challenges.

"We have internally a working definition [of AI] that we are using, but that’s something that needs to be clearly outlined for teams,"

Pre-registration is currently running at their site.

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