Open Innovation Algorithm Competitions Will Power Disruptive Technologies
Algorithms have always been important, but they’ve also been quite exclusive in the sense that select industries could garner business value (monetization) from them, while many looked elsewhere in technology to drive value. However it is clear we are entering an era of hyperconnectivty where terms like Big Data and Web 3.0 evolve passed catchy buzz terms and outputs in these spaces literally disrupt markets, verticals and industries. As we recently discussed, Open Innovation platforms are exceptionally well positioned to cater to the coming thirst that will require companies to filter and make sense of (aka monetize) the scores of data that is “suddenly” available due to the proliferation of micro-chips and data-gathering sensors throughout society. Now, companies in all industries can benefit and drive business value from algorithms and the disruptive innovations that will be born from them.
On Point Read: Why Crowdsourcing & Open Innovation Can Rule Big Data
Algorithm Competitions on the Rise
At TopCoder, we are seeing an impressive up-tick in both the number of clients joining our community seeking solutions, optimization and innovation via algorithms and existing clients, operating in industries that previously were not focusing on algorithms beginning to want to understand this connected new world and what algorithms hold in store for them.
In January alone, TopCoder is hosting 3 separate Marathon Matches – see below for concise details on each of the three. We think it’s a fitting start to 2012 and we fully expect this increased focus on Open Innovation algorithm competitions to continue as the era of Big Data emerges.
How Can Algorithms Breed Disruptive Innovations?
Traditionally, Big Data was used to optimize something – a financial transaction is a perfect example – making it faster and more secure. Now, this data will be consumed by individuals, in real-time, and this is set to usher in a Cambrian-like era of disruptive innovations. Logically, it just makes sense. More industries – and within industries “smaller” organizations – will be enjoying new found access to data. This data will be utilized in some fashion to assuage a human being’s behavior. Perhaps it triggers an impulse buy, or pushes a dieting individual to choose a banana over a banana split. The key point is that this data will be delivered to individuals in real-time, altering how they interface with whatever technology they are holding or viewing and because of this interaction, altering behaviors. When you change the consumer experience – and thus alter behavior – you have an exceptional chance to bring a disruptive innovation to market. All of this, will of course be powered by the data and the engine making the data actionable are advanced algorithms.
As mentioned above, TopCoder is hosting 3 algorithm Marathon Matches in January alone. Here are brief descriptions of each.
Every year, soybean breeders try to create new varieties that will outperform those which are currently available on the market. New varieties are created by cross-pollination. In order to test their performance, varieties will be grouped together into experiments. The goal of this competition is to create a solution that will be able to identify elite varieties within each experiment. More information and specifics on this competition can be found here.
NASA Tournament Lab (NTL) USPTO $50,000 Algorithm Challenge
Software developers from around the world and the TopCoder community are invited to develop specialized algorithms to help bring the seven million patents presently in the patent archive into the digital age. The USPTO challenge requires advanced knowledge of text recognition, image analysis, and the construction of bounding boxes. Visit the NTL site for more on this challenge.
SFFCompressor – Standard Flowgram Files
Traditional methods of compressing genetic data files are inefficient. Through competition, this client is seeking novel techniques to re-envision how this data can be compressed both smaller and faster. Traditional archivers do not utilize information on format, structure, and expected distributions of data. We expect competitors to explore ideas that take advantage of these factors. Click here for more information on this competition.
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