January 30, 2020

Element Advances to IBM Watson AI XPRIZE Semifinal Round

“AI is key to a prosperous future. AI completely changes how we work, how we communicate, how we conduct research, and will eventually integrate itself into every aspect of our lives,” said Amir Banifatemi, general manager for innovation and growth at XPRIZE. “These 10 teams are developing technologies that will completely change the game in their respective fields, and we’re looking forward to seeing these solutions in the field with the hope they will change humanity for the better.”

Element's participation in the competition is centered around the BioNIC initiative - the world's largest infant biometric program, which has reached 10,000 infants and children to date. The initiative aims to extend Element’s biometric digital identity platform to infants and children 0-5 years of age, with the goal of creating a mobile-based solution capable of linking them to vaccinations, birth registration, and other essential health and social services. Since 2017, Element has partnered with world-class research institutions in Bangladesh (icddr,b) and Cambodia (Angkor Hospital for Children), and most recently completed a year-long field trial of the infant solution in Mozambique, with the Manhiça Health Research Centre.

Advancing into the semifinal round is the culmination of a year-long process, during which Element's research, engineering, and global health teams participated in rigorous third-party ethical, technical, and impact assessments. "We're proud to have participated in such a thorough and well-respected evaluation," said Yang Wang, Element's Chief Technology Officer. "The outcome is a testament to our technology, our collaborative process, and our incredible partners - all of which are required to build and scale the solution for impact." 

The 10 semifinalists were chosen by an independent judging panel, which evaluated 34 teams (narrowed from 147 original teams) across a set of performance categories, including technical performance, real-world impact, future impact, and ethics. The panel included academics and professionals with deep expertise in AI and a variety of application backgrounds, from healthcare and ethics to education.

Next month, three finalists will be announced and invited to participate in the Grand Prize competition on the TED2020 stage in Vancouver, Canada.

About Element

As the world demands digital delivery of products and services, Element is delivering a persistent, private, and portable unique digital identity designed with intention. Element - the first modern artificial intelligence company focused on digital identity - laid the foundations for deploying deep learning on mobile devices. Our universal solution learns directly from natural features, ensuring mobile identity for anyone, anywhere.

We partner with forward-thinking financial institutions, governments, and healthcare organizations to transform how they deliver their services. Our partners choose to work with us because we deliver faster access without compromise – securely connecting anyone to any service while retaining the right to privacy. Together, we’re building a frictionless future. Learn more at www.elementresearch.com.


XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges. Active competitions include the Lunar XPRIZE, the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE, the $10M ANA Avatar XPRIZE, the $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, and the $5M IBM Watson AI XPRIZE. For more information, visit xprize.org.