Iridescent Announces Winners of Inaugural AI Family Challenge World Championship; Secures $500,000 Grant from to Extend The AI Program’s Global Impact

Iridescent Announces Winners of Inaugural AI Family Challenge World Championship; Secures $500,000 Grant from to Extend The AI Program’s Global Impact

Six Families From Bolivia, Palestine, Pakistan, Spain, The United States and Uzbekistan Win Awards For Using AI To Address Local Problems 

SANTA CLARA, CA; May 20, 2019: Iridescent, a global technology education nonprofit, today announced the winners of its debut AI Family Challenge World Championship, and an additional $500,000 in funding from The championship event, hosted at Intel’s Santa Clara campus, was the culmination of Iridescent’s AI Family Challenge, in which 7,500 people from 13 countries participated in a 15-week program that brings together families, schools, communities and industry mentors to create AI projects that solve local problems.

The winning families came from all over the world, including Bolivia, Palestine, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan, and their projects ranged from image-recognition software to help scan children’s drawings for signs of bullying to a wearable device for kids to use while swimming designed to prevent drowning.

Jeff Dean, a Google Senior Fellow and SVP for Google AI, announced the funding during his keynote address. The funds will support Iridescent’s ongoing AI Family Challenge program, which begins its second season in August.

“AI will only realize its potential to solve some of our biggest problems if we can introduce it to more people all over the world,” said Jeff Dean. “Organizations like Iridescent are vital to the long-term health of AI and prove that by bringing together families, community groups and industry leaders we can create real, lasting change.”

More than 200 families from eleven countries entered projects into the AI World Championship in two divisions: Junior (8-11 years-old) and Senior (12-16 years-old). Finalists then presented their projects to a panel of judges, who evaluated each entry based on ideation, project development, pitch and overall impression.

The winners are:

Junior Division:

  • Technology Award: The Mayet Family, Pakistan, “Cavity Crusher” whose algorithm uses AI to monitor a child’s brush time and determine their oral health habits to notify parents accordingly
  • Social Impact Award: The Vega-Hidalgo Family, Bolivia, “Duckweed Vacuum Cleaner” uses a camera to collect data for its image recognition algorithm aimed at detecting and vacuuming duckweed from Lake Titicaca
  • Inspiration Award: The Rana Family, Palestine, “My Drawings Speak Up” uses image recognition technology to analyze children’s drawings and notify an adult when a child is facing bullying

Senior Division:

  • Technology Award: Team De La Paz, United States, “Shoo” uses a live camera to collect images and pass them through an image recognition algorithm to determine if a dog is in a specified area. If an animal is present, the device emits a high pitched sound that deters it from staying.
  • Social Impact Award: The Pifive Team, Spain, “Scoutbot Water Guardian” is a wearable device that uses an image analysis algorithm to determine if a swimmer is safe. If a person is at risk, the device will send a signal that emits a red light.
  • Inspiration Award: The Innovators Team, Uzbekistan, “Spiky! Bullying Detector” is a mobile app that uses uses machine learning to analyze communications from a child to guess the probability of bullying. Spiky will send an alert to parents if action is needed.

The Rana Family also received the “People’s Choice Award,” the result of open voting from AI Family Challenge participants and supporters from all over the world leading up to the event.

The judges were Gabriela González, Deputy Director and Operations Manager at Intel Foundation; Eva Ho, General Partner at Fika Ventures; Brad Neuman, Technical Director, AI, Planning & Navigation, formerly at Anki; Michael Palmer, SVP of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data at U.S. Bank; and Allen Rush, Senior Fellow, Radeon Technologies Group at AMD.

“The AI Family Challenge aims to bridge the AI knowledge and confidence gap for children and adults around the world. These families prove that AI can be accessible to everyone,” said Tara Chklovski, founder and CEO of Iridescent. “We want to inspire more people to become lifelong learners, and we have many wonderful partners supporting that mission, providing not only financial support for the program, but also critical mentorship so children and adults alike can start to see themselves in future leadership roles.”

The AI Family Challenge partners with lifelong learning advocates and leading experts in AI, including those from, NVIDIA, Intel, and the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation. Learn more about this year’s finalists, the AI Family Challenge, and sign-up for season two here.

About connects nonprofit innovators with Google resources to solve complex human challenges, and ensure that everyone can participate in the digital economy.

The same technology that makes our lives easier every day can also help solve some of the world’s largest problems.  That’s why we’re applying advanced technology to some of our greatest challenges, like using artificial intelligence to help predict natural disasters. Everyone should be able to participate in the digital economy, so we’re providing digital skills training for job seekers, supporting online safety and media literacy, and investing in computer science education for students — particularly in underrepresented communities. We know that the best answers often come from those closest to the problem. That’s why we join forces with nonprofit innovators, committing Google volunteers, technology, and over $200 million in grants every year to help scale their impact.

About Iridescent

Iridescent is a global technology education nonprofit organization that empowers underrepresented young people to become self-motivated learners, inventors, and leaders. Founded in 2006 by CEO Tara Chklovski, Iridescent has had more than 130,000 children, parents, mentors, and educators participate in its two global programs: Technovation, the world’s largest tech entrepreneurship program for girls, and the AI Family Challenge, a learning program that brings together families, schools, communities and industry mentors to solve real-world problems as they learn and create with artificial intelligence. To learn more, visit


Media Contact

Puneet Sandhu
[email protected]
Bateman Group for Iridescent


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