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Sber Welcoming Entries for the Global Kids’ AI Competition

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Vusi Melane
Vusi Melane
Staff Writer

The inaugural phase of the International Children’s Artificial Intelligence Competition for Youth, AI Challenge, has commenced. Co-hosted by the Alliance in Artificial Intelligence, this event marks the beginning of an exciting journey.

Participants hailing from Russia and various other nations will delve into the realms of science and technology, acquiring fresh insights and honing their skills in artificial intelligence. The competition tasks mirror real-world challenges encountered by technology enterprises today. These challenges have been meticulously crafted by teams from Sber and its partners, alongside members of the AI Alliance. The competition promises intrigue for both seasoned AI enthusiasts and novices venturing into the realm of technology for the first time.


Registration open until 15 September

Comprising four stages – qualifying, main, semi-final, and final – this competition offers a comprehensive experience. Registration for the qualifying stage will remain open until September 15th. Throughout the qualifying round, contestants will tackle problems individually, striving to boost their personal ratings.

13- and 17-year-olds

This year, a new opportunity awaits children under 13 years old (inclusive): they can opt for the “Beginners” individual track and compete with peers in developing solutions for partner companies of the competition. Additionally, they can join the “Explorers” team track, designed for competitors under 17 years old (inclusive). In this track, participants will tackle challenges from companies with heightened complexity.

The 18 winning teams in the “Researchers” category will collectively share a prize pool of 14 million rubles (over $150,000) during the finals. The prize pool for all individual tracks, which now includes another new track, “Creative”, will amount to 3 million rubles (over $30,000). Moreover, participants will have access to additional developmental opportunities.

Creatives

First deputy chairman of the Executive Board for Sberbank, Alexander Vedyakhin says, “The future development of generative artificial intelligence models lies in the combination of design and engineering generation. Therefore, in this year’s competition for participants under 17 years old, we have developed an individual track “Creative”, where one needs to solve tasks using AI services such as GigaChat and Kandinsky. Our competition will help children learn how to generate creative original content and shape digital culture trends.

For example, last year the winners created a VR museum space, a weed recognition service and a model for diagnosing cardiac pathologies — these are just a few examples of innovative solutions. The most popular area for work among the participating teams was “Production”. It required developing an algorithm for analyzing information on ordered materials aimed at the prevention of delivery disruptions. In total, more than 1,200 solutions were uploaded in this area. And the youngest finalists of the competition were only 11 years old.

I wish all participants of the new competition good luck in creating unconventional technological projects!”

To ensure children successfully navigate the tests and acquire new knowledge and skills, organizers have curated a plethora of educational programs in various formats: from curated collections of materials on artificial intelligence to seminars featuring expert insights.

Over the duration of the AI Challenge, a staggering 36,000 children have participated in the competition, engaging in the development of innovative Data Science solutions.

Medicine category

One member of the “Minions” team from Vladivostok and St. Petersburg, victorious in the “Medicine” category in 2023, recounts his journey into programming during high school. Initially drawn to creating graphical applications and games using the cross-platform Unity environment, he now aspires to a career in information security, merging web application security analysis with artificial intelligence technologies. Sber’s artificial intelligence laboratory oversaw the “Medicine” track, tasking teams with constructing ML models for early disease diagnosis within the cardiovascular system.

Robotics

Another member of the “Backward-backward algorithm” team, hailing from St. Petersburg and Moscow, found his passion for programming ignited after watching a cartoon, leading him into the realm of robotics. Now an avid participant in hackathons and artificial intelligence competitions, he has amassed a collection of prizes. Reflecting on technological advancements in his city, he notes, “My school and several universities in St. Petersburg are actively developing artificial environments for plant cultivation, while efforts are underway to integrate AI technologies into full-cycle systems.” His team clinched third place in the “Video Analysis and Image” category from VK.

In 2023, the International Children’s Artificial Intelligence Competition, AI Challenge, drew participants from 47 countries, spanning Armenia, Bangladesh, Belarus, India, Kazakhstan, China, the UAE, and Uzbekistan. Over the course of the event, 251 teams were formed, collectively developing more than 2,300 solutions.

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