AI Challenge: The Iowa Social Impact Big Data Quest

Sign your team up to take the AI Challenge for our Day of Innovation Summit, sponsored by Pi515 and Microsoft!

The state of Iowa is known for its rich educational institutions and the immense potential of its college students. As the world delves deeper into the era of big data and Multimodal AI, it's essential to harness these technologies for social good. This challenge aims to bring together the brightest minds from Iowa's colleges to tackle pressing societal issues using big data and Multimodal AI.

This challenge open to any students in Iowa ages 16-24 year olds, no coding or technical knowledge necessary. To enter the AI Challenge, select a track, assemble a team of 3-5 students, and fill out the form below. We will provide you with more details on the challenge such as project timeline, requirements, materials and more.

Develop an AI solution that leverages big data to address a social issue relevant to the Iowa community by choosing one of the tracks below. Solutions should be innovative, scalable, and have a tangible positive impact.

AI Challenge Tracks:

Track 1: Innovate Iowa AgTech

Objective: Develop AI solutions tailored to address critical challenges in Iowa's agriculture sector.

Challenges to Address: Labor Efficiency in Agriculture: Design AI-driven autonomous equipment or robots to assist in labor-intensive agricultural tasks, addressing the labor shortage in farming operations.

Plant and Animal Health Monitoring: Develop an AI system for advanced image analysis to monitor plant and animal health, enabling timely detection and remediation of diseases and pests.

Precision Application of Agricultural Inputs: Create an AI modal to optimize the application of herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, etc., ensuring environmental sustainability and reduced input usage.

Track 2: Innovate Iowa Ecosystem

Objective: To address key challenges in Iowa's entrepreneurial ecosystem through innovative AI solutions.

Challenges to Address: Breaking Silos: Develop an AI-driven platform or tool that fosters collaboration and information sharing among different sectors within Iowa's entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Boosting Philanthropic Support: Create an AI modal that identifies potential philanthropic opportunities and aligns them with local entrepreneurial initiatives.

Mitigating Risk Fear: Design an AI modal that assesses and mitigates risks for startups, thereby reducing the fear of failure among budding entrepreneurs.

Redefining Entrepreneurship: Use AI to generate diverse entrepreneur profiles, challenging the traditional perceptions of who can be an entrepreneur.

Igniting Innovation Excitement: Develop an AI-powered gamification platform that stimulates and tracks innovative activities, fostering a culture of creativity and excitement around innovation.

Track 3: Social Impact AI: Supporting Des Moines Public Schools

Objective: Create AI solutions to address chronic student absenteeism in Des Moines Public Schools, focusing on transportation challenges and parental support.

Challenges to Address: Transportation Optimization: Develop an AI modal to optimize and manage transportation routes and schedules, ensuring reliable and efficient transportation for students.

Parental Engagement Tool: Create an an AI modal to enhance parental involvement and awareness, facilitating better communication between schools and families regarding student attendance.

Absence Prediction and Intervention: Design an AI modal to predict potential absenteeism and suggest proactive measures for schools and parents to encourage regular attendance.

Track 4: Ancient Narratives: AI, AR & Fashion Fusion

Objective: Craft innovative AI solutions that intertwine ancient stories with augmented reality (AR) and fashion.

Challenges to Address: Developing AI and AR Virtual Museums: Create platforms for virtual museum visits, offering personalized, immersive experiences with art and fashion items based on the viewer's interests and historical periods.

Interactive Fashion Education: Utilize AI and AR for interactive fashion experiences that educate on the evolution of fashion across cultures and history, including features like virtual try-on and insights into historical garment significance.

Artistic Collaboration Through AI and AR: Foster new artistic collaborations using AI for creative suggestions and AR for virtual collaborative spaces, blending traditional and digital art forms from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Challenge Details:

Team Composition:

Students ages 16-24 can apply in teams of 3-5. Interdisciplinary teams composed of students with backgrounds in STEM fields, social sciences, and humanities encouraged to apply. Teams with diverse demographic and cultural backgrounds are also encouraged to apply.  Individuals may apply without being part of a team and will be placed with a team by competition organizers.

Data Sets:

Participating teams will be required to use a repository of big data sets related to various sectors in Iowa - from education, agriculture and healthcare to urban planning and transportation.

Where to get Data:

Multimodal AI:

Solutions should utilize multiple AI modals. This could mean combining Natural Language Processing (NLP) to understand textual data, Computer Vision for image data, and Predictive Analytics for trend forecasting, among others. Example, a model that produces classifiers for flood warnings based on both aerial photographs of and geodata.

Project Example:

1st Prize: $5,000

Win $5,000 and an opportunity for a pilot implementation in partnership with a local organization.

2nd Prize: $3,000

Win $3,000 and an internship opportunity with leading tech firms in Iowa.

3rd Prize: $2,500

Win $2,500 and mentorship sessions with AI experts.

Participants FAQ

Who can participate in the AI Innovation Challenge?

Any student attending college and pursuing an undergraduate degree in the state of Iowa. Participants are required to sign up in teams of 3-5 students.  

I don't know how to code. Can I still participate?

Yes! This challenge was created to be accessible to students in any field of study, with or without a technical background or experience working with AI.

What criteria will be used to evaluate submissions?

Sign up to get more information on submission requirements and details pertaining to the challenge.

What is expected of mentors?

Mentors are expected to share high-level advice and insights to inspire teams, not provide detailed plans or advice on using AI programs. The focus is on encouragement to foster creativity and problem-solving.

What AI programs and resources are available for teams?

Pi515 will provide access to AI programs, data sets, and all the resources students need to successfully complete the challenge. Sign up to get more information.

Join the Challenge:

Volunteer to Mentor
Student Team Sign Up Form