Atos IT competition enters final days, with four Asian teams in the hunt

17 April 2018 4 min. read
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The short-listed teams for the annual Atos IT Challenge will have an anxious wait ahead of their final presentations in less than a fortnight, with four teams from Asia vying for the top prize.

Open to students across the world, the Atos IT Challenge is an annual tech innovation competition hosted by global digital specialists Atos since 2012, with this year’s Artificial Intelligence and Chatbot theme attracting a mass of international teams aiming to create the next Alexa. In its outline for this year’s edition, the Atos Challenge Committee states;

“Artificial Intelligence is a game changing technology, already being applied in many areas including Call Centres, Video & Serious Gaming, Medical Diagnosis, Fraud Detection, Driverless Vehicles and Security Surveillance. For all its benefits, some are also saying it could be a huge threat – with calls for regulation to protect humanity against AI running out of control. We believe it is an important area for the Atos IT Challenge to explore.”

Among this year’s expanded roster of 20 shortlisted entries are teams from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, having beaten out a plethora of innovative ideas from 27 countries with the proposed AI aids focused on a variety of sectors such as health, education, finance and government. The successful first-round bids were selected by a 100-strong-member jury drawn from Atos’s top business technologists, following which a coach was assigned to the teams.Atos IT competition enters final days, with four Asian teams in the huntGilles Grapinet, Senior Executive Vice President, Global Functions at Atos and Chairman of the IT Challenge Jury, said at the time of the preliminary selection; “Choosing the best concepts from a goldmine of ideas was not an easy task for our selection committee, thus explaining the extension of selected teams to 20 this year. I thank all the participants for sharing their ideas with us and I really look forward to seeing how the shortlisted teams turn their brilliant ideas about Chatbot and Artificial Intelligence into proofs of concepts over the next few months.”

That few months has now dwindled to less than a fortnight, with teams now racing to refine their proofs prior to their final presentations at the beginning of May. The teams have been working with their Atos coach on their presentation skills as well as gaining insights into the business and technical realms, with the coaches for the development phase assigned from one of 110 expert members of the Atos Scientific Community, drawn in turn from the firm’s more than 100,000 employees across 73 countries worldwide.

Assessed before a jury of top Atos executives on both the devised use cases and concept prototypes, as well as their ability to take the product to market, the Asian region will be hoping to return to the winner’s circle following Malaysia’s second-placing in 2016, with a €10,000 first-prize up for grabs to help bring the app to market and the three finalists being given the opportunity to apply for an Atos fast track internship to work within the company on areas relating to their projects.

Asian Teams

Up against challengers form France, Germany, India, Senegal, Russia, the US and UK, the four competing Asian teams represent a diverse mix of ideas, from Jibi, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology team’s hotel chatbot which can support access to hotel facilities and services, to the team from Nanjing University Of Posts And Telecommunications’ creation of a complex machine learning mechanism to improve virtual chemical screening in the development of drugs.

The remaining Asian teams are from National Tsing Hua University of Taiwan, with Steeve, a virtual aid for job searches and recruitment, and from the City University of Hong Kong, with ‘Speak for your Messenger’; a personal chatbot which can mimic the user’s texting style for automated social network maintenance on trivial matters. 

“The Atos IT Challenge has seen tremendous support since the inception of its concept. At Atos, we really love to see new budding talents come up with such impressive ideas. The enthusiasm generated by the Atos IT Challenge among universities and engineer schools from all over the world is definitely remarkable every year,” Grapinet said.