Perlin, a cloud computing marketplace, has announced it is sponsoring the AI for All Global Hackathon working closely with NITI Aayog (the National Institution for Transforming India) and PT Telkom. The company says both global economic powerhouses, India and Indonesia are the world’s largest developing democracies with a total combined population of around 1.6 billion people, or about 20% of all humans on the planet.
Perlin say that by working with teams in both countries, developers around the world will have a rare opportunity to submit ideas for how innovation in AI can be leveraged to make a lasting and meaningful positive impact on those vast populations. Initially focused on communities in India, the hackathon partners say they will support the winning applications to be also scaled for implementation in Indonesia and globally.
“The AI for All Hackathon underscores the commitment of NITI Aayog to supporting meaningful social, economic and technological advancements directed at making people’s lives better.” says Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, “We believe India is ideally positioned as a thought-leader and regional economic power to help bring the benefits of innovation in AI and distributed computing to communities in developing countries around the world.”
In order to support AI teams Perlin, the company managing the hackathon, are said to be providing access to its decentralized cloud compute platform. Perlin professes that its cloud network is based on world-leading distributed computing technology that utilises the vast amounts of idle computational power currently sitting unused on computers, phones, and other smart devices. By allowing device owners to rent out their idle compute power, the company say this will also help foster greater economic inclusion for people in impoverished communities around the world by allowing them to access an entirely new source of passive income.
“The Perlin team is incredibly excited to work closely with teams in India and Indonesia, as the world’s two most populous and influential developing democracies.” explains Dorjee Sun, CEO of Perlin, “As a source of significantly cheaper, secure, reliable and socially conscious cloud compute power, we want our decentralized platform to support the work of the world’s best and brightest AI developers. And by effectively redistributing the huge revenues from a cloud market estimated to be worth $300B by 2021, we will also empower struggling communities globally.”
“Artificial Intelligence is changing how we live, work and interact in every conceivable sphere of life,” says Anna Roy, Advisor NITI Aayog, “By focusing on innovation in novel techniques in distributed and privacy preserving computation we hope to increase awareness and enable innovators to design proof of concepts which can effectively address some concerns within the ethics and privacy dimensions of artificial intelligence use. We are happy to partner with leading innovators in distributed computing – such as Perlin and our distinguished panel of judges for this hackathon – to position India as a true global leader in this space.”
The hackathon will be run in two stages, the first stage will invite ideas for any AI use case entrants believe can benefit Indian communities. The second stage will call for those ideas to be developed, with a focus on privacy preserving AI and distributed computing. Winners will share in a prize pool worth USD $50,000 in both cash and non-cash rewards. More importantly, Perlin stresses that winning teams will be supported to make a lasting and meaningful positive impact in the lives of up to 1.6 billion people.