Freelancer.com, which claims to be the world's largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace, has launched an intercollegiate hackathon to challenge Filipino university students to build apps and other tools using artificial intelligence that can improve people's lives and shake up industries. It said that up to Php100,000 in prizes are available for the winners of the contest that carries the theme "Explore Possibilities with Artificial Intelligence".
Ten teams of five from tertiary schools accredited by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) will be selected by Freelancer to join the competition, called Hackzilla in Manila 2, from March 31 to April 1, 2017 in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Each team must submit a two-minute video outlining their big idea. The deadline for submission of entries is on February 28, 2017.
This is the second year that Freelancer is holding the hackathon. Last year's contest, which focused on disaster preparation and management, was won by a team from the University of the Philippines in Diliman. Called Team In-Code-Ables, the team developed a mobile app, "Impulse", that can help identify disaster victims and notify their loved ones immediately through QR code technology.
Last year's second prize went to the team Ariz and the FEDs, also from UP-Diliman, for their app called "Fortify", which can locate the safe and hazardous zones in an area. The technology was commended by Department of Science and Technology's Project NOAH as it can help move communities to safer places in times of disaster.
This year’s hackathon will also have some representatives from the DOST and Department of Information and Communications Technology as judges.
The Freelancer-sponsored competition comes amid the rapid spread of AI technologies in both the corporate and consumer spheres, provoking negative reactions especially among people who fear that their jobs will be taken over by the technology. Speaking at one of the events at the recently concluded World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, said: "Artificial intelligence is about the augmentation of people not the replacement of people. You have to think about how you develop trust for any new technology."
Elyssa Christine Lopez is Entrepreneur PH's staff writer. Follow her on Twitter @elyssalopz. Sam Navalta is Entrepreneur PH's multi-media artist