17 November, Beijing – Global youth from 14 teams put forward innovative AI solutions for advancing the Sustainable Development Goals on Tuesday at the online final competition of U&AI Camp, an international youth bootcamp.
Launched in June this year by Tsinghua University, with UNDP as the international supporting partner, the bootcamp reached its climax at Tuesday’s finals, where teams, over the course of two hours, presented their AI-based proposals to address global challenges such as gender equality, food-waste reduction, biodiversity protection, and climate change.
The bootcamp attracted over 1,300 youths from more than 50 countries around the globe, across the continents of Eurasia, America, Africa, and Oceania.
“I am delighted to see that the bootcamp has brought together teams made up of different nationalities, cultures, religions to work on solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems,” said Beate Trankmann, UNDP Resident Representative in China.
Yang Bin, Vice President of Tsinghua University commended the young generation’s involvement in AI. “Today’s youth are standing at the forefront of the future of AI development, and they are the torchbearers for advancing progress towards the sustainable development goals with AI,” he said.
In the final competition, a team called “WeReco” won first place. The team introduced their design of an e-commerce mobile app platform that directs users to recyclable, degradable, reusable and eco-friendly products, thereby promoting responsible production and sustainable consumption activities.
The runner-up, Aket, provided a digital solution to the food waste problem. Their self-designed WeChat mini app, Taojia, can link suppliers with food near its expiration date with individual consumers in the vicinity.
Coming in third was AI Care, an undergraduate student team with a proposal to improve elderly health by long-term behaviour monitoring enabled by real-time analysis using computer-vision.
In addition to the overall winners, two special awards were also given out. The “Most Innovative Award” went to the team Lumos that proposed a smart video editing platform for the visually impaired, while the “Global Collaboration Award” was awarded to Dawn of Future, a team with members from Pakistan, China, Germany, and Bangladesh.
Prior to the finals, the 14 teams went through a five-month period of training sessions, competition rounds and assessment, led by top thinkers and practitioners from the academia, tech industry and international organisations.
All teams of participants received 29 masterclasses covering how AI could be used for the benefit of sustainable development, as well as regular guidance from their professional facilitators, before choosing one among eight competition tracks to develop their proposals.
Xue Lan, Dean of Institute for AI International Governance of Tsinghua University who also served as chair of the judge panel consisting of leading AI and development experts, said he was “very pleased to see so many outstanding next-generation leaders pooling their ideas and working together to develop innovative solutions that leverage AI for the SDGs.”
The U&AI Camp’s winning teams will have the opportunity to present their proposals at the Tsinghua University International AI Cooperation and Governance Forum 2021, which will be held from December 4 to 5.