3 Huge Things Big Data and Open Innovation Challenges are Helping to Transform
You’ve likely read enough blogs to fill a digital library focused on what Big Data was about to help humanity accomplish. We are guilty as charged here on the TopCoder blog as we’ve shared such tales, even illuminating how Big Data will soon improve your golf game (Fore!). It’s fun to envision the ‘what ifs’ of technology, but it’s also supremely important to spend time with two feet on the ground, discussing what is actually happening within a given movement, right now. For that reason we recently featured author & speaker Phil Simon on our blog because his new business book: Too Big to Ignore – the Business Case for Big Data focuses a great deal on case studies that have trailblazed the paths that others are now heading down as it pertains to Big Data experimentation and value creation. **Disclaimer – TopCoder is featured in Simon’s new book.
In that spirit, let’s focus on the now and discuss 3 huge areas where open competitions and Big Data are “partnering” up to help transform an industry or space.
Predictive Modeling for Atrocity Prevention
Can Open Innovation challenges and open data and unstructured data sets help prevent atrocity? Quite possibly, yes. The TopCoder community is heavily involved (along with other communities and organizations) in a crucial part of this overall “Tech Challenge”. See how TopCoder, along with USAID, Humanity United and others have set up this predictive analytics Open Innovation challenge. Explore the microsite here and get all the details on the Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention here.
Gene Sequencing the Centenarians to Advance Human Longevity – X Prize
X Prize is known for pushing boundaries and for creating compelling grand competitions that captivate the world and help to literally launch new industries. Today, we may take it for granted that commercial space-flight exists and is set to be a booming industry, but when X Prize founder Peter Diamandis announced the original X Prize – for the first non-government organization to launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space twice within two weeks – many thought he was crazy. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing Peter speak, he’ll likely reference another famous adventurer, Charles Lindbergh, who in his day – prior to making his famous trans-Atlantic flight – was considered “loopy” and a rather loose cannon. And do you know why Charles Lindbergh risked literal life and limb during his 30+ hour flight from NY to Paris? Fittingly, it was to win an incentive challenge known as the Orteig Prize with a payout of $25,000. Incentive challenges remain popular today and X Prize is the ‘grand-daddy’ in this bold space. Now, Peter and his team at X Prize have focused on the human genome in this unique data challenge that features a $10 million dollar payout. Watch the video below and visit this X Prize microsite for all the details.
What’s intriguing to remember about this particular challenge is that sometimes “Big Data” isn’t some unstructured twitter feed, but rather, in this case, it’s the very coding and building blocks for humanity. For more amazing incentive challenges – like the Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize – visit their site at xprize.org.
Energy, Energy, Energy
If you frequent the TopCoder blog – top right corner to subscribe – then this next bit is likely familiar. Recently on the TopCoder platform we hosted an algorithmic competition focused on energy harvesting aboard the International Space Station (ISS). This introductory video framed up the challenge exceptionally well.
With over 4,000 registrants and 450+ unique ‘submitters’ averaging over 4 submissions per person, the volume of thoughtful solutions received during this 3-week long competition was astounding. Clearly, energy is a tremendously vital industry and the ways this “type” of Open Innovation data challenge can be applied to other energy focused initiatives has many in the field excited and looking for ways to engage.
Human health, human freedoms, and humanity’s ability to create and maximize our energy resources: These are 3 huge areas where Big Data and Open Innovation challenges are “teaming up” to help transform these very industries and spaces. And, in the grand scheme of things, we’re just beginning to unleash what is the cognitive surplus present here on Earth. Via focused and defined Open Innovation challenges that help to eradicate the traditional barriers to contribution, we are entering an exciting period in human history where new technologies meet new methodologies for human advancement. Perhaps Peter Diamandis sums it up best when he plainly states, “Everything is impossible … until it isn’t.”
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video credit: youtube.com/xprize, youtube.com/topcoderinc
image credit: nickgentry.com (featured image – main blog page)