March 9, 2018 Topcoder Cognitive Community with IBM Watson: Outcomes of the IBM’s Month of Love Challenges

This February we carried on the IBM’s Month of Love challenge series, to celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day, and to promote cognitive services provided by IBM Watson platform. Although the last few challenges are still to be completed, we like to bring you some of the results already.
The main part of the series consisted of four interesting open-ended problems to play with, that offered competitors a good chance to show their creativity, and also suggested very good prizes (in total, $3500 per problem).
In the first problem, Gift Advisor ChatBot, we asked participants to create a chatbot able to get an insight into user’s character, with help of Watson Personality Insight service, and to use that insight to propose gifts from some online store, that the user would like to have. Unfortunately, none of six submissions to the challenge has passed the review with a score high enough to be eligible for a prize.
I like to say that even if you do not win money in a Topcoder challenge, you still earn a priceless experience. A nice illustration that these are not just words, was the second challenge in the series, Cupido ChatBot: two of five submitters to this challenge have participated in the previous challenge without success; but they tried again, took a good advantage of the gained experience, and got their prizes this time. One of them, kanikashah90, even became the winner, for her first time!
The goal of this challenge was to create a chatbot that uses Watson Personality Insight and Watson Tone Analyzer services to learn about user’s character and matches different users with each other based on the similarity of their characters. You can see a brief video demonstration of the winning solution below.

In the next problem, Fun City Facts, we asked competitors to play with Watson Discovery service to come up with a solution that finds in some open city data interesting trends caused by big celebrations in a city. To facilitate the ask, this problem was split into two separate challenges, one focused on the search of a good open dataset to analyze, and the second one focused on the actual analyzis of that dataset with Watson Discovery service. obog, who is a fresh Topcoder member, managed to win both of these challenges, proposing and analyzing Yelp dataset. You can see his videos about his solution below

The last challenge in the series, What’s On, Watson?, is still active with 56 registrants and already two submissions. The goal is to use Watson Discovery News service to find and recommend to the user interesting events and activities in his location for specific dates. As usual, we hope to see some interesting and creating solutions here.

Interested in Learning and Competing?

At this point you might be interested in cognitive services and products, but not sure how can you start with them, as these technologies seem to be so complex and non-intuitive. To help people like you to start with IBM Watson, in parallel with the main challenge series, we also run a series of easier educational challenges, focused on various Watson services (a total $3000 of prize money will be distributed among participants of these educational challenges at the end of the series). Although most of them are already completed, you still might be interested to check and try them, as they should not take too much time from you, but you may learn a lot working on them:

In case you encounter any problem with these challenges, you cannot overcome yourself, our member OB3LISK, out of his own initiative, creates a series of how-to blog posts and videos related to these challenges:

The last, but not the least, if you are interested in cognitive software, and want to see more of such challenges at Topcoder, be sure to join our Cognitive community.


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