The NYU Social Entrepreneurship Program is excited to announce Algorithm for Change: The $1.5M AI/ML & xR Access to Education Competition
The NYU Social Entrepreneurship Program is proud to announce a new AI/ML & xR Innovation Challenge with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which will offer one of the world's largest prizes for the AI/ML & xR community focused on solving challenges in postsecondary education.
The objective of the AI/ML & xR Innovation Challenge is to encourage and discover applications for artificial intelligence, machine learning, and virtual, mixed and augmented reality technologies to solve challenges in the postsecondary space via two innovation challenges; one, designed and produced by the NYU Social Entrepreneurship Program, utilizes artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML). The other, to be subcontracted to Techstars, uses virtual reality, mixed reality and augmented reality (xR). Both sets of technologies have tremendous potential for positively impacting student success for low income, first generation and underrepresented minority students, and the AI/ML challenge is specifically designed to seek out and support minority entrepreneurs.
Beyond the competition itself, the Innovation Challenge aims to spur conversations around issues of diversity and inclusion within the technology community. The Challenge starts the conversation with today’s innovation leaders, while building a more diverse community of tomorrow’s leaders.
Background and Opportunity
While many industries have benefitted from advances in AI/ML and xR, these technologies are nascent in higher education. But their potential to positively impact student success, and particularly low income, underrepresented minority and first generation students, is significant.
By 2025, there is expected to be a knowledge economy skills gap of 11 million jobs. Getting AI/ML and xR into the hands of low income, first generation and underrepresented minority students can help close that gap.
The challenges seek to further the positive impact these technologies can have through student advising interventions, adaptive courseware in digital learning, and expanded access to higher education. Both challenges will seek innovations providing solutions to challenges in higher education at idea, early and proven stages, with particular interest in innovations impacting low income, underrepresented minority and first generation students and/or innovations making these technologies more accessible to those students and the institutions that serve them. Again, the AI/ML challenge is specifically designed to engage minority entrepreneurs. The total prize money for the AI/ML challenge is $1,100,000. The total prize money for the xR challenge is to be determined, but is expected to be in the $400,000 range.