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Second AI Edge Contest to be Held

November 18, 2019

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (hereinafter referred to as “NEDO”), Digital Media Professionals Inc. (hereinafter referred to as “DMP”) and SIGNATE Inc. (hereinafter referred to as “SIGNATE”) will jointly hold the Second AI Edge Contest, aiming to discover outstanding computer technologies, human resources and concepts as well as to encourage promising new human resources to enter these fields for the purpose of creating of innovative AI edge computing technology.

In this contest, contestants will focus on challenges related to image recognition, a technology that is indispensable for the realization of autonomous driving technology. They will embed processing algorithms that detect target objects in images into field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), and the processing speed and accuracy of the algorithms will be the basis of the competition. Through holding the contest, organizers will strive to encourage contestants to master or further cultivate skills that are applicable to high speed processing and maintaining accuracy despite limited resources, e.g., data from IoT devices, and will also endeavor to contribute to making AI edge computing technology more popular.

1. Purpose of the contest

As the arrival of the IoT era causes explosive growth in the amount of data being generated throughout society, industries have increased demand for the establishment of AI edge computing technology, a technology in which high-level information processing occurs at the “edges” of a network, rather than processing all the data centrally using cloud computing, in order to promote sophisticated utilization of the surging amount of data and reduce power and other resource use.

Against this backdrop, METI and NEDO decided to hold the Second AI Edge Contest, aiming to discover outstanding computer technologies, concepts and human resources who can play a leading role in implementing these technologies and ideas as well as to encourage promising new human resources to enter these fields for the purpose of creating innovative AI edge computing technology.

In the second contest, the focus is on “autonomous driving and mobility service,” one of the priority fields that Japan has specified under the “Connected Industries” policy. Contestants will embed image recognition systems, technology that is indispensable for the realization of autonomous driving, in hardware (FPGAs) and the accuracy of the processing performance in detecting target objects in images will be the basis of the competition.

In assessing the outcomes of the contest, the judges will base their decisions on a review of the code, the performance of contestant teams and technology and the reproducibility of the performance , and based on the results, conduct strict screening to determine winners of the awards. Successful winners will receive recognition for their accomplishments and additional prizes.

2. Details of the contest

3. Other event

METI will recognize top performers in the contest and offer them eligibility for entry into a program titled “Japan Automotive AI Challenge” to be held in June 2020, an event to be organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers of Japan, Inc. In this program, participants will embed algorithms into autonomous driving programs, mount such algorithms into autonomous vehicles, and operate such vehicles.

Division in Charge

Device Industry and Digital Consumer Electronics Strategy Office, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau