TigerGraph launches $1 million challenge to inspire use of graph AI

With a $250,000 first prize, entrepreneurs, academics, engineers, scientists can create their own problem statement focused on a topic of their choosing.

There's nothing like good old-fashioned cash inducements to get the creative juices flowing. 

Graph analytics software maker TigerGraph is dipping deeply into its bank account in a global search to reward innovative ideas for harnessing the power of graph technology and machine learning to solve real-world problems. So today, the Redwood City, Calif. based company launched its "Graph for All Million Dollar Challenge" in order to get people thinking about this steadily growing sector of database IT.

With a first prize of $250,000 and total cash rewards of $1 million, the global event is open to tech professionals, data scientists, engineers, university students, and researchers interested in discovering what is possible with graphs and AI. Notable partners participating in the challenge include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, Google Dev Library, Data.world, GitHub, Kubrick Group, Microsoft Azure, Plotly, and Women Who Code.

Registration opened today, and the final submission deadline is April 20, 2022. Winners will be announced the week of May 23 at the 2022 Graph + AI Summit, the industry's only open conference devoted to democratizing and accelerating analytics, AI, and machine learning with graph algorithms.  

"Graph algorithms are the driving force behind the next generation of AI and machine learning that will power even more industries and use cases," said graph DB scientist Dr. Alin Deutsch of UC San Diego in a story here on ZDNet last fall. 

Graph embodies next generation of storage+AI

Graph analytics databases have been described as embodying the next generation of data storage connected with AI, and that's what innovation is all about: a new-and-improved version of how something works. 

All the data nodes in a graph database are connected. These databases use graph structures for semantic queries with nodes, edges, and properties to represent and store data. A key concept of the system is the graph itself, which connects information with a subject or topic far in advance so that the time spent by the querier is substantially lessened.

"Every day, more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are produced -- that's 18 zeroes," TigerGraph CEO and founder Dr. Yu Xu said. "Within this data are answers to critical health, climate, and business-related questions, and graph technology identifies those patterns across and within the data to find the answers. We're giving $1 million to innovators who push the boundaries of the graph and AI technology to uncover new ways to solve real-world issues."

Solving real-world problems

Entrepreneurs, academics, engineers, and scientists have the freedom to create and use their own problem statement focused on a topic of their choosing. Domain experts from around the world have contributed problem statements that contestants can select. 

A few examples include: 

  • identifying granular concepts that interlink multiple UN Sustainable Development Goals;

  • modeling the progression of COVID waves to better predict future waves; 

  • understanding patterns of diagnosis and treatment that point to potential off-label usage of drugs;

  • generating a model for individuals to track their own online information and make better decisions on who has their data and what is being done with it; or

  • adding to the climate change knowledge by producing the time-series analysis for newly generated thermokarst lakes to help understand the impact in the polar regions.

"This is about 'How can we unleash the wisdom of the cloud?'" TigerGraph evangelist Jay Yu told ZDNet.  "How can we empower all the smart people over the world who work with us jointly to advance the graph evangelization? Because graph is so new, people don't know what it is -- they don't know the state of the art, don't know the technology. We want to expose it and show how TigerGraph really can help them to innovate."

For complete rules and resources and to register, go here.

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