With the adoption of systems like IBM Watson on the rise, artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to be the next tech trend to disrupt the enterprise.

But for businesses that want to get ahead of the competition and develop AI solutions like chatbots, finding people with cognitive computing skills and experience can be a challenge.

IBM and Topcoder partnered to close that gap by giving developers around the world the opportunity to get hands-on cognitive experience, show their skills, and earn money by building real-world AI solutions. Together, we launched the Topcoder Cognitive Community, a segment of the broader 1+ million member Topcoder Community. This expert community is focused exclusively on growing and nurturing skills and expertise with industry-leading systems like IBM Watson. Developer evangelism and leaderboards motivate members to hone their skills through challenges, and badges and rewards recognize members for their achievements.

In its first 12 months, the Topcoder Cognitive Community grew to more than 50,000 members from around the world, and member participation continues to thrive today. Not only has IBM increased developer skills and adoption of their technologies, but businesses of any size and industry now have access to an on-demand pool of cognitive computing talent through the Topcoder platform.