Emotion checking in e-mails and cricket coaching received the Idiap 2018 ICC Award in artificial intelligence

A virtual coach to help you to write an email that can be misinterpreted or to help cricket players to enhance their performances. Those are the projects based on Artificial Intelligence and awarded by the Idiap Research Institute.

« OK. » With that sole word as an answer, you can imagine the worst after sending an important email. The constant flux of professional emails, emotions seem to be replaced by brief facts. However, the style of writing can have an important emotional impact on the reader and on professional relationships. The advAIsor project is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) techniques to allow a software to learn to identify the ambiguous sentences. The aim is to create an automated detection software, working like a spelling checker. Convinced by the potential of the project of this team from Zurich, Idiap decided to support it with a 10’000.- Swiss francs’ prize and The Ark Foundation to offer them a free access to the Ideark start-up incubator.

Thanks to a project of virtual coaching for cricket, the BetterSkillz team from the Netherland won the second prize of 5’000.- Swiss francs. They are using the so called machine learning technique to analyse pictures of cricket players posture. Then, after a learning phase using examples, the goal is to propose a software able to highlight in real time the good and bad posture, as would do a real coach. As there is around one million professional cricket players and around 60 million amateurs, the potential market is big.

Prizes creating businesses

Awarded during the Interactional create Challenge (ICC) founded by Idiap, those prizes are an achievement after 3 weeks of intensive team work and represent an important support for the projects. During this event, about 30 people from around the world were able to meet with Idiap’s researchers and private companies involved in the challenge, as well as to be coached by professionals to improve their projects.

The experience shared during the ICC is not only creating very strong bonds between people, but is also a catalyst to push some projects to the business stage. It is about 2 start-ups that are founded following each edition of the challenge. Many of them are still in the business and stayed in nearby Idiap to keep a strong link with this stimulating environment.

The insurance company Groupe Mutuel, which is also supporting the ICC, has also awarded its own prizes. This theme for this edition award was “Ai for health”.

ICC 2018: http://www.createchallenge.org/

Groupe Mutuel: https://www.groupemutuel.ch/fr/groupe-mutuel/Espace-presse/Le-GM-dans-les-medias/Communiques/2018/16-05-18-ICC-Hackaton.html