Global HackWeek: Addressing education’s big challenges with AI | HT Tech

Global HackWeek: Addressing education’s big challenges with AI

Niti Aayog, global companies are coming together to promote artificial intelligence

| Updated on: Jul 26 2017, 11:32 IST
The Education HackWeek will be held from July 28 to August 4 at IIT Delhi.
The Education HackWeek will be held from July 28 to August 4 at IIT Delhi. (Hindustan Times)

New Delhi:, a non-profit organisation committed to developing and promoting open-source Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Education, is organising a global AI for Education HackWeek from 28 July- 4 August at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi. The first of its kind initiative, OpenEd's HackWeek will bring together key players from the world of industry, academia, government, venture capital, and AI developers around the world.

The event is supported by the government of India's NITI Aayog, tech companies such as IBM, Google Developer Groups, Amazon Web Services, Digital Ocean and investment firm Omidyar Network. The Computer Science faculty from MIT and Harvard will be advising and judging the event. The top four winners of the event will receive prizes totalling $17,000, out of which the $6,000 Grand Prize has been sponsored by Omidyar Network."Our support to HackWeek is aligned with our commitment to supporting innovations in technology, which we believe can be a powerful enabler in providing quality education for millions of under-served learners. This is an attractive platform for developers to learn from experts working in the cutting edge of AI and leverage their skills towards solving some of the key problems in education," said Roopa Kudva, Partner and Managing Director, India at Omidyar Network.

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The keynote address at the event will be given by Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog who will address the participants on the future of Education in India while members of the education investment committee from Omidyar Network will speak about the unsolved problems in ed-tech and the business side of education entrepreneurship. During this global HackWeek, participants will get free computing resources by Amazon, IBM Watson, and Digital Ocean while Google and IBM will be running Machine Learning workshops for participants. The mission of, and of this inaugural "AI for Education" HackWeek, is to re-focus on what the computer science community can measurably achieve in this space and to inspire smart people to turn hype into results.

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Says Sriram Raghavan, CTO of IBM India/South Asia:"As the Education industry digitizes rapidly, IBM sees enormous potential in the application of cognitive computing to personalize learning at-scale and improve outcomes. We are developing cognitive technologies built on the IBM cloud platform to assist individuals with lifelong learning - from intelligent

tutoring systems that engage learners through multi-modal interactions, adaptation and gamification, to assisting teachers in designing individualized learning pathways and providing career advisories to help individuals re-skill themselves. Through a combination of insights drawn from largely unstructured datasets and advances in human computer interaction techniques, we seek to design fundamentally new learning experiences that place individuals on successful learning and career pathways".

What problems can I work on for the HackWeek?

Pick any inefficiency, problem, or use case in Education you wish to address using AI, including but not limited to:

•personalization of content and delivery

•intelligent, adaptive assessments

•instant question-answering

•text summarization and machine comprehension

•clustering and classification of student learning styles

•clustering and classification of question intent

•question generation from text

•language scoring (automatic grading)

What can I create and submit during the HackWeek?

1.Usable products: web apps, mobile apps, chatbots, Alexa skills, etc.

2.Data sets: scrape public sources to collect data useful for future AI work in education and publish it with documentation

3.Tutorials / how-to articles for AI-education work you've done in the past or are doing right now

All code, data, tutorials will be open-sourced at the end of the HackWeek on GitHub, and the winning projects will be promoted on's website and various media channels.

Where do I have to be to participate?

Anyone can participate from anywhere in the world.

From July 28-30, there's an optional in-person component at IIT Delhi university campus. From July 31-August 4, everyone works remotely. Sign up today at

Submissions will close at 5pm IST on August 4th and winners will be announced on Thursday, August 10.

OpenEd was founded by Anshul Bhagi and Nikhila Ravi, computer scientists and education entrepreneurs who met as graduate students at Harvard University and discovered a common interest in applying machine learning and AI to solving problems in education. Driven by this passion, they launched which is an attempt to bridge the gaps in education and to re-focus the AI community on solving problems in education. "With recent advances in machine learning, data science, and natural language processing, we can start to build education technologies that solve for Access without compromising Quality, and visa versa. AI has the power to simultaneously make education higher quality, more efficient, and more affordable, " says Bhagi.

Students all across the globe from institutions like MIT, Harvard, Stanford and locally too from IITs, DTU, NSIT, IIITD and working professionals in the AI/ML space have already signed up to participate. Participation is free, and if you can participate remotely online. Sign up today at

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First Published Date: 26 Jul, 11:32 IST