Bengaluru: Microsoft India today announced the winners of the 24 hour hackathon held as part of the first Machine Learning & Data Sciences (ML&DS) Conference. Team Builders won the grand prize, while Eavesdroppers and NHacks emerged as the first and second runners up respectively by creating applications to address challenges in the field of agriculture, call center management and human behavior. The hackathon invited students and early-stage developers to work in teams to build intelligent, working applications with the help of Microsoft Cognitive Services, Microsoft Bot Framework and Microsoft R Services.
The top three teams won cash prizes worth Rs. 50,000, Rs. 40,000 and Rs. 30,000 for developing solutions fulfilling parameters on design, innovation, foreseeable impact and marketability. In addition to the cash awards, the student participants from the winning teams will also be offered interviews for internships and full time positions at Microsoft India (R&D) Pvt. Ltd.
Speaking on the occasion, Anil Bhansali, Managing Director, Microsoft India (R&D) Pvt. Ltd. said, “Microsoft has the vision, strategy and talent to democratize data and machine learning and use it to realize our mission to empower every individual and organization on the planet to achieve more. The hackathon was designed to spark curiosity among diverse talent to develop applications using our services and demonstrate the versatility and potential of using the platform. It has also shown us how Microsoft’s APIs could help scale ideas with global relevance in a very short time.”
The winning teams showcased their innovative thinking, technical skills and creative solutions to address everyday challenges. Team Builders created a cognitive model to help farmers to identify what to grow based on soil, weather and other parameters while Team Eavesdroppers created a dashboard for call center management which analyzes audio files and derives actionable insights for employee assessment and training related questions. Team NHacks, developed a cognitive system that detects if individuals are suffering from depression by conducting a sentiment analysis basis the tweets of the individual extracted from Twitter. According to the sentiments extracted, notification is sent to the guardian or doctor of the individual.
Over 800 participants from across India expressed interest in participating in the hackathon of whom 80 participants were shortlisted. At the event, 18 teams from all over the country comprising students and developers battled it out in the intense hackathon to create applications. 15 senior machine learning and technology experts from Microsoft who have built intelligent services using Microsoft tools mentored the teams throughout the competition. A range of ideas including how to tackle college bullying, accessibility for the hearing impaired and a travel app were judged by a jury comprising Microsoft and industry experts.
The hackathon marked the closure two-day conference was aimed at exploring the tremendous possibilities with Big Data, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Open Source technologies to enable a rich set of platforms, intelligent apps, services and experiences to accelerate economic growth, empower people and drive real impact. Nearly 600 attendees, including data scientists, students, developers, government elites, start-ups, cricketers and Microsoft experts, gathered to learn and share new insights and showcase powerful solutions that are driving digital transformation for organizations and communities in India and worldwide.
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2014 The Global Indian New Network (TGINN)