March 20, 2014 16:19 ET

XPRIZE and TED Announce a Global Competition to Advance Artificial Intelligence

Public Tapped to Help Design Competition That Will Result in the First Humanless TED Talk

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - Mar 20, 2014) - XPRIZE (, the global leader in incentivized prize competitions, announces today the creation of a prize competition presented by TED, (, the nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, for the development of artificial intelligence (AI) so advanced that it could deliver a compelling TED Talk with no human involvement. Chris Anderson, curator of TED, and Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, chairman and CEO of XPRIZE, made the announcement from the TED2014 Conference stage and are inviting the public to provide input into the rules of the competition at

The site will give contributors the opportunity to help shape the competition's format by answering questions like: How should the TED Talk topic be chosen? How long should the talk be? How should the competition be judged? Will the AI be a physical robot that walks, or rolls, on stage to present or will it be a disembodied voice? Should the competition be an annual occurrence in which the best-of-the-year is awarded, or should it be a first-to-win competition in which the first team to demonstrate certain criteria will then take the TED stage?

"Advances in machine learning and AI have made extraordinary progress over the past decade, but we've barely scratched the surface," said Diamandis. "This global competition could help spur its development across a myriad of areas - including biological research, exploration, education, healthcare, and fields we have not yet even imagined."

Added Anderson: "We're entering a future in which humans and machines must learn new ways to work with each other. My hope is this prize will fuel that process. I predict that within a few years we'll be blown away by what Artificial Intelligences can do. But that we also may learn what they can't do so well. We may discover that it's some form of human-machine collaboration that offers the most powerful prospect for creating and communicating ideas that matter. I have no idea how this ends up, but I'm incredibly excited to find out."

To contribute to shaping the rules of the competition, or to stay informed, please visit:

Founded in 1995, XPRIZE is the leading organization solving the world's Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, high-profile, incentivized prize in five areas: Learning; Exploration; Energy & Environment; Global Development; and Life Sciences. Active prizes include the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE, the $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, and the $2.25 million Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE, and the $2 million Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE. For more information, go to, or join the conversation on or @XPRIZE on Twitter.

About TED
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes or less. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Vancouver, British Columbia, along with the TEDActive simulcast event in nearby Whistler. The annual TEDGlobal conference will be held this October in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. TED's media initiatives include, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed, and TEDBooks, short e-books on powerful ideas. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get help translating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self-organized TED-style events around the world, and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Follow TED on Twitter at, or on Facebook at

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