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QU, HBKU, QCRI and Huawei-Qatar launch the Artificial Intelligence National Competition for 2022 | Qatar University

QU, HBKU, QCRI and Huawei-Qatar launch the Artificial Intelligence National Competition for 2022

2021-11-18 00:00:00.0
Qatar’s 2022 Artificial Intelligence Competition

MENA region call

Qatar University College of Engineering (QU_CENG), Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU), Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) and Huwaei-Qatar announce the launch of Qatar’s 2022 Artificial Intelligence Competition: MENA region call. The competition aims to raise awareness of AI technologies globally, support building capacity in this timely and crucial area, and provide a platform for participants to share AI ideas and applications.

In his speech, QU-CENG Dean Dr. Khalid Kamal Naji said, “This is a competition challenging students, developers, professionals, and researchers to develop and demonstrate how humans can collaborate with powerful Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies to tackle some challenges for different applications. This opportunity will also raise awareness of AI technologies in Qatar and the MENA region, support building local capacity in this timely and crucial area, and provide a platform for participants to share AI ideas and applications. The competition consists of two tracks, and participants are required to submit either a ‘Concept & Design’ or ‘Proof of Concept & Demo.’”

In his speech, Dr. Ahmed K. Elmagarmid, Director of the QCRI said, “The competition consists of 5 phases: Idea submission Friday, December 31, 2021. Announcement of shortlisted ideas Sunday, February 7, 2022. Project submission, Saturday, May 1, 2022. Project testing and demos (track 2) Tuesday, March 15, 2022. Winners will be announced Sunday, May 29, 2022. Only one submission per group will be considered in the evaluation stage, and we encourage the participants to register early so that they can begin to plan and build their solutions/demos and submit them on time.”

In his comment, Dr. Mounir Hamdi, Dean of the College of Science and Engineering at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) said, “We are looking for creative and innovative AI solutions, which can be deployed to resolve practical problems including but not limited to: Healthcare solutions, AI in smart cities, fintech, and in education, automatic and real-time detection of trolls over social media, real-time AI solutions for assisting sports referees to take prompt decisions, crowd monitoring and behavior analysis and prediction. The competition will recognize the developers who are paving the path for future innovative AI technologies that can be deployed to support infrastructure and address challenges for different applications as highlighted below.”

In her comment, Mrs. Gaozouping (Zoe) the Managing Director of cloud BG, Huawei-Qatar said,
“The AI national competition is open to all individuals who are from the MENA region. High school students, undergraduate students, and graduate students are able to participate in the competition. Experts (e.g., professors and/or professionals) can act as mentors for high school and undergraduate students. Mentors will not receive a prize, but their efforts will be acknowledged, and a certification will be provided. Participants are eligible to participate either individually or as a team. The maximum number in a team should not exceed three participants. Any participating team is allowed only for a single submission.”

In his comment, Dr. Abdullah Khalid Al-Ali, Head of QU-CENG Department of Computer Science and Engineering, said, “Artificial intelligence is considered one of the basic pillars on which the technology industry is based in the current era, and it refers to the ability of digital machines and computers to carry out specific and intelligent tasks that these computers were not able to devise by traditional methods, such as the ability to think or learn and the ability to study patterns and deduce their outputs after a process. Experiment, training and analysis, and artificial intelligence works to reach intelligent systems in various fields of our current era, such as education, security, transportation, guidance in energy expenditure, navigation systems and data analysis.”

In his speech, Dr. Muhammad Al-Hitmi, Head of QU-CENG Electrical Engineering Department said, “Indeed, there is a great impact of AI on education as it can support and improve the learning process. Artificial intelligence-based platforms can also facilitate the learning process, especially with the challenges that we face due to Covid-19. Moreover, the creation of applications based on artificial intelligence that serve not only students but also teachers and educational institutions as a whole, and from here it was necessary to invest in artificial intelligence.”

In his comment, KINDI Center for Computing Research Dr Abdulaziz Al Ali said, “The details of the two tracks are as follows: Track 1 of the competition: Concept and Design; The teams are requested to describe their concept and design in the form of an article. A presentation that shows the proposed solution must be presented in front of the juries. The evaluation criteria for this track will be mainly on your innovative idea (40%),the feasibility of implementation (30%), and the impact of the proposed solution on the society (30%)”.

He adds, “Track 2 of the competition: Proof of concept and Demos; in this track, the teams are requested to articulate their proof of concept in the form of a detailed article. A technical presentation must be done to show the proposed solution and the conducted experimentations, in addition to a live demo to demonstrate the actual implementation of the proposed solution. The evaluation criteria for this track will be on the innovative idea (25%), the feasibility of implementation (25%), the performance (25%), and the impact of the proposed solution on the society (25%).”

MAIN CHALLENGES

Problem 1: Healthcare solutions

Artificial intelligence plays a vital role in the field of healthcare. It is capable of providing fast approximate conclusions to speed up diagnoses even without direct human involvement. Diverse intelligent healthcare solutions have been proposed to tackle the need of the Qatari society, varying from personalized, real time-monitoring, self-diagnosis, among others. Due to the corona virus (COVID-19), awareness toward identifying and detecting suspected positive cases became substantial. Intelligent solutions remain in demand to prevent and limit the spread of such pandemic. For instance, an intelligent solution can help reduce the number of false negative and false positive cases of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. Estimating the possibility of new positive COVID-19 patients who need intensive care and cautious support is yet another challenging task.

Problem 2: AI in Smart Cities

Artificial Intelligence (AI) for smart cities solutions has several advantages support improving the life quality. AI in smart cities has demonstrated its effectiveness through different aspects such as pollution reduction, noise, and traffic congestion through smart traffic light systems. In the context of smart cities, the AI may include prediction and potential failure, automatic objects recognition, facial recognition, or diverse sorts of processing personal data for personalization and safety aspects. The necessity for smart technology development and intelligent problem-solving in smart city settings grows as we get closer to these futuristic communities with almost incomprehensible simplicity. Despite the fact that the number of innovative solutions that tackle Smart City challenges is growing, a number of issues still exist. For instance, the implemented sensors that fail to operate, which result in a shortage of collecting required information, required troubleshooting and maintenance. In addition, threats from cyber-terrors targeting insecure and out-of-date power systems.

Problem 3: Fintech and AI

The deployment of AI in the financial technology (Fintech) sector demonstrated its effectiveness in facilitating transactions, analyzing information, streamlining processes, and improving numerous financial services. For this reason, AI is now considered a crucial element for many Fintech solutions. It enabled saving time, effort, and money in both small and large organizations. Thus, it creates a better environment to meet the customers’ needs. While the use of AI in Fintech is advantageous, a considerable number of challenges can be counted. This includes, but not limited to, identification of the domain of knowledge, detection of biased information in data, the truth of the processed records, misconception, and others.

Problem 4: AI in education

Artificial intelligence has a significant impact on education in which it can support and improve the process of learning. AI-based platforms can facilitate the learning process. Furthermore, creating AI-based applications that serve not only the students but also the instructors call for a special attention. Education at any time, complying with the requirements of students, the needs of the society, students’ progress tracking, curriculum improvement, seamless identification of challenges in education process, and employment of mobiles in education are among the feature inherited from the deployment of AI in education. Moreover, students with special needs, such as mentally challenged children, also require distinctive attention. In this context, it is beneficial to design intelligent responsive applications that can identify the needs of students with special needs and elucidate the instructions using a virtual teacher that imitates the actual special education teacher.

Problem 5 Automatic and real-time detection of trolls over social media

With the widespread of social media and its huge impact on people's lives, we are witnessing the rise of "digital trolls"; accounts controlled by a group of people who are explicitly paid to support specific political agenda on social media. Trolls try to influence public opinion, spread fake news and hate speech, impose (at best) a cloudy image of how communities react to significant events. Moreover, troll accounts may trick automated analytical tools that aim to understand people's stance regarding important national issues. The goal is to tackle this problem by proposing and/or developing a system that can help to dynamically identify those trolls/accounts and thus mitigate their effect. As a relevant model, the proposition of an intelligent solution capable of distinguishing factual and fake social content, such as content in textual news, illustrated images, and videos, which individuals typically use to follow up on the news.

Problem 6: Crowd monitoring and behavior analysis

It is of paramount importance to have reliable and real-time surveillance systems, especially for a major upcoming event such as World Cup 2022 in Qatar. As the camera-based surveillance becomes ubiquitous, the amount of data to be processed grows along with the camera network presence and with the demand for human resources to interpret the data. This project aims to monitor and detect certain “security threats” in real-time over the live surveillance camera network, addressing the community's needs in Qatar. Proposed systems should combine the power of Deep Learning and Computer Vision and should be able to be integrated into the Qatar control center of city surveillance cameras. In this context, the employment of an AI framework to recognize people and their movements in crowd flows is paramount from its kind to autonomously reveal security threats.

Problem 7: Real-time AI solutions for assisting referees to take prompt decisions

Each football match is controlled by a referee who has the full authority to enforce the Laws of the Game of the match. In this problem, the main aim is to propose an intelligent solution to assist the referee in providing more accurate decisions whenever there is a penalty, fall, or any kind of fouls or cheating. Such solutions must provide, in real-time, the needed guidance and assistance to the referee to keep the match performing without missing important circumstances and deceptions. Computer-vision techniques and deep learning techniques can be employed to satisfy the requirement of the proposed solution. Besides, the solution must be accurate and should satisfy FIFA rules and regulations. For instance, one of many examples is the automatic identification of faults or fouls in a match, from videos captured by one or more cameras and promptly notifying the referee (AI-video assistant referee (VAR)).

Problem 8: Detection and prevention of attacks and malware

With the recent development of technology capable of revolutionizing diversified kinds of sports players, coaches, event organizers, and supporters, securing such devices and their communication is of paramount importance. A cyberattack is an offensive behavior that targets digitized information to steal data, modify records, destroy content, or perform other illegal activities. On the other hand, malware is programmed to run by itself to attain the desired attack(s). Nowadays, various technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms can help in revealing attacks and malware. The main aim of this problem is to propose a solution that can promptly detect attacks or malware and apprehend the offender. For example, in this context, an attacker may access the Wi-Fi network in hotels to snoop or spy on guests to steal financial information.

Problem 9: Logistics impacting the supply chain

Artificial Intelligence for mitigating logistics impacting supply chain and security challenges is of utmost importance to Qatar and many nations across the globe. The skyrocketed penetration of AI in our daily lives affects the economy, supports smart work and operation, advances smart transportation, develops smart optimization, improves predictive logistics, and enhances risk management. For instance, an intelligent solution designed for an automated ship can identify fake Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) signals to avoid deceptions.

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