XPrize’s latest challenge wants AI to better predict COVID-19 transmission rates

The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t only led to the loss of lives, but also to the loss of livelihoods worldwide as businesses close due to necessary lockdowns. It’s had major economic impact across industries, and experts believe the world will continue feeling it for years to come, even after vaccines become available. It’s still unclear when a vaccine will come out, though, and local economies need to reopen soon if they haven’t yet. In an effort to find ways on how to safely reopen societies in the midst of a pandemic, XPrize has teamed up with Cognizant on a new competition with a $500,000 prize purse.

The XPrize Pandemic Response Challenge will have participants build data—driven AI models that can predict local coronavirus transmission rates. Participants will also need to prescribe intervention and mitigation measures and test them using “what-if” scenarios to show that they can minimize infection rates and limit negative impact on the economy. The teams will base their creations on technology and AI models developed by Cognizant, and they’ll use data compiled by the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker.