What happens when you mix artificial intelligence and agriculture? Hopefully better seed breeding. Syngenta and the AI for Good Foundation have partnered to launch the Syngenta AI Challenge, a new international competition focused on leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) tools for use in seed breeding, with the chance to win $7,500.
“This new competition will give entrants the chance to use their talents to take on the extraordinary complexity of seed genetic data,” said Joseph Byrum, Ph.D., MBA, PMP and senior R&D strategic marketing executive with Syngenta. “In the face of a rising global population, we need to grow plants that can adapt and thrive in changing conditions – especially as vital resources like water and land are finite. The Syngenta AI Challenge is about creating models that can help solve this puzzle and ensure world food security.”
The competition challenges participants to develop a model that can be used to analyze large amounts of seed data more effectively, ultimately leading to improvements in the world’s ability to grow more food in the face of changing environments – without using more resources. The premise of the competition underscores Syngenta’s commitment to make crops more efficient – an important tenet of The Good Growth Plan, Syngenta’s global initiative to improve the sustainability of agriculture.
Entrants will be provided datasets that include seed genetic information as well as soil, weather, and climate data. Entries will be evaluated based on the rigor and validity of the process used to determine which variety or varieties are selected for planting and should include a documented methodology. The winner will receive $7,500; the runner-up, $5,000; and the third-place entry, $2,500. Entries must be submitted by June 1, 2017, and finalists will be announced July 14, 2017. Contestants must be 18 years or older to participate.
The 2017 Syngenta AI Challenge is the first of two collaborations between Syngenta and the AI for Good Foundation to bring artificial intelligence tools such as machine learning and data modeling to the agriculture industry.
Competition information sessions at several major universities are scheduled to take place from February through June:
- Federal University of São Carlos: February 3
- University of São Paulo: February 3
- University of Chicago: First week of February
- Jožef Stefan Institute: February 10
- New York University: Second week of February
- Carnegie Mellon University: February 13
To enter the challenge, visit ideaconnection.com/Syngenta-AI-Challenge/.