AI for Life hackathon: the winning projects


Helping people, fighting Alzheimer's, improving food purchasing management, environmental conservation… 950 engineering and management students spent three days (from 11-13 September) thinking up ethical and innovative solutions to live better using artificial intelligence.

Students in their first year of the SKEMA Business School Grande Ecole programme worked alongside engineering students from the ESIEA joined by others from the MIAGE Université Côte d’Azur and Ecole Centrale de Lille (ITEEM). The students found innovative, sustainable solutions using artificial intelligence while looking into the societal impact of each project from three angles: people, profit, planet. A few figures: three connected campuses, nearly 120 teams and projects, a finalist team for each of the three campuses, an interconnected final with an atmosphere worthy of the Oscars… and a final atypical winning project that explores new paths in the art market. 

During their meetings with professionals, the students were able to talk with the inventor of Siri, Dr Luc Julia, vice-president innovation - Samsung Electronics in California and director of Samsung AI research centres

There were also discussions with Lionel Prévost, University professor, director of AI Research at ESIEA’s LDR (Learning, Data & Robotics) laboratory. 

The event was also joined by the directors of innovation at Microsoft, IBM and seven start-ups that presented their innovation and AI-related services. Researchers from INRIA and ESIEA also explained the technical side of AI and machine learning tools Each student project was pitched with a video. Finally after a short but intense discussion session, the panel of judges* named the three winning projects for Lille, Paris and Sophia-Antipolis: 

Art’Pette (Lille campus - first place) 
This team’s project (five SKEMA students along with an engineering student from Iteem at the Ecole Centrale Lille) proposes to put art students who create art during their training, in contact with art lovers or sales opportunities. Students can thus put up their works for sale and with the aid of AI and data gathered from the art market and using the Arte’Pette platform fix a basic price for works that are then sold on the site by auction. The platform also proposes prospective buyers other works they might like. The six students of the Art’Pette team will receive programmable humanoid robots offered by ESIEA. 

Smarket (finalist - Paris campus) 
This team’s project is to market a new solution of purchasing and stock management for food products with very short life cycles. The final objective is to limit food waste. By putting producers and distributors in touch with each other, the solution uses AI and the enormous amount of data on consumption and sales of food products. The Smarket project was designed by seven students of whom two are from ESIEA. 

Memor’IA (finalist - Sophia Antipolis campus) 
This project from five SKEMA students and one MIAGE student uses AI to help Alzheimer's sufferers with the aim of significantly prolonging their independence using a personal assistant designed to slow down the degeneration related to the pathology. The service is transmitted via a speaker connected and a mobile application. It is based on the patient’s data (family, habits, tastes etc.) and the latest medical research on the memory and the disease itself. The application offers personalised services such as repetition exercises, memory games based on sight and sound, diary reminders, various aids to everyday life (granchildren’s favourite recipes etc). 

Whether they were Hackathon winners or not, all students who want to get involved in entrepreneurship and who believe in their project should contact SKEMA Ventures: the incubator-accelerator created by SKEMA devoted to entrepreneurship and innovation on the school’s six campuses worldwide. 

This hackathon that is fully in line with SKEMA’s DNA certainly achieved its pedagogical objectives: developing creativity and the capacity to innovate while encouraging the right ethical questions about the implications of the technologies that will make tomorrow’s world. 

* Louis Jouanny, director general Groupe ESIEA, P.Xelot, IBM Startups Ecosystems Europe manager, Pierre-Antoine Dusoulier, CEO IbanFirst, Virginie Cohen, IBM Systems Lab Services Europe manager, Sophie Gay, director SKEMA Programme Grande Ecole and the mayors of the “Villages by CA”: Fabrice Marsella (Paris), FranckBielher (Lille) and Jean-François Richardoz (Sophia Antipolis). 

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