Baton Rouge software development team advances in IBM competition for $5M

Editor’s note: This story was updated after its original publication to include additional information about Deep Drug.

A software development team from Baton Rouge is among the top teams competing for IBM Watson AI XPrize, a four-year global competition to develop and demonstrate how humans can collaborate with artificial intelligence.

Deep Drug is developing a drug design software that learns from the successes and failures of previous clinical trials to shorten the developmental timeline of new drugs, according to a news release. The team—based out of the Louisiana Technology Park—comprises LSU faculty members Supratik Mukhopadhyay and Michal Brylinski along with Robert DiBiano and Patrick McGrew of SynthLab. 

A total of 59 teams representing 14 countries are advancing in the competition, for which $5 million is on the line. The top 10 teams will be recognized later this week at the annual conference on Neural Information Processing Systems in Long Beach, California.

An independent panel of judges selected the 59 competitors advancing from a field of 147 teams. Competitors must develop AI technologies to address problems across a number of domains: health and wellness, learning and human potential, civil society, space and new frontiers, shelter and infrastructure, and energy and resources.

The 59 teams moving forward in the competition hail from the United States, Canada, Australia, Barbados, China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Norway, Poland, United Kingdom and Vietnam.

XPrize is a nonprofit that designs and implements innovative competition models to solve global problems. The IBM Watson AI XPRIZE was launched last year.

The grand prize winner will receive $3 million, while the second and third place winners will get $1 million and $500,000, respectively. The final winner will be determined based on the results of the live in-person and online audience voting during TED 2020.

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