Cortana Intelligence Competitions

The Cortana Intelligence team has launched a data science challenge site. Currently there are two introductory challenges posted.

Decoding Brain Signals

Each year, millions of people suffer brain-related disorders and injuries and as a result, many face a lifetime of impairment with limited treatment options. This competition is based on one of the greatest challenges in neuroscience today – how to interpret brain signals.

Building on the work of Dr. Kai J. Miller and other neuroscientists, the competition is designed to further our understanding of how our brain interprets electric signals. The medical community and ultimately, patients will benefit from your expertise in machine learning and data science to help decode these signals.

Through this competition, you will play a key role in bringing the next generation of care to patients through advancing neuroscience research. Build the most intelligent model and accurately predict the image shown to a person based on electric signals in the brain. The Grand Prize winner will get $3,000 cash, followed by a 2nd prize of $1,500 cash, and a 3rd prize of $500 cash.

Contest Ends July 1, 2016

Iris Multiclass Classification

The primary goal of this tutorial competition is to help you get familiar with Cortana Intelligence Competition platform and build your first solution for Azure Machine Learning (AzureML) Competition using the well-known iris data. Participants’ performance is ranked by the overall accuracy of the model (higher accuracy, higher rank). As this is a tutorial competition, there is no award provided

 

The challenges have been up since 3/30 and already have 120 submissions! These are great competitions for all devs with an interest in data science. Students can try the Iris data set and more advanced can tackle the brain signal data.

The site has some interesting features.

  • auto-scoring of models
  • no need to download the data to your local box, then upload to wherever modeling is to be done. The data resides natively in Azure.

Stay tuned for more developments and challenges!

Microsoft Ventures Northeast Events

Microsoft Ventures (MSV) info event in Boston and New York is taking place soon. You’ll get to learn about the next MSV Accelerator focused on Machine Learning, network with MSV folks from Seattle, and learn how to apply. Please find details below.

NEW YORK
DATE: October, 21, 2015
TIME: 6-8 PM
LOCATION: NYU, Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship
REGISTRATION: http://aka.ms/domoredata-nyc

BOSTON
DATE: October, 22, 2015
TIME: 6-8 PM
LOCATION: Venture Café
http://aka.ms/domoredata-boston

Since we assume you’re coming straight from work, light apps and drinks will be provided. RSVP while there’s still room!

Microsoft Ventures

Microsoft Ventures is a global initiative empowering entrepreneurs around the world on their journey to build great companies. We’re focused on building partnerships with venture funds, angel investors, incubators, accelerators, corporate executives, and at the core startups, as well as run its own accelerators around the world. Our goal and objective is to help scale and grow startups by giving them a great working environment, access to mentors and service providers, free technological tools and connecting them to Microsoft’s customers and business partners. The next batch of the program opens on Feb 2016 and it’s going to be themed around Machine Learning and Data Science. We will be targeting startups that are a more mature than previous batches – such that raised $1M-$1.5M, with an existing product and maybe even initial traction.

 

The 4-month program offers the following unique and distinctive benefits to the startups:

  • No Equity Program – all the benefits in the program are totally free, takes no equity or any other type of payment or special rights in the companies.
  • Access to Microsoft facility in downtown Seattle, the startup hub in the city.
  • $25K no-strings attached one-time gift to cover travel and living expenses
  • Technology agnostic – companies can be accepted to the program using any technology they want. It’s up to the company to decide whether they use Microsoft’s technologies to boost their growth or use any other infrastructure that fits their need.
  • Having said that, startups that choose to use Azure will enjoy the help of the ML product group in architecting their solutions to the right size and using the cutting edge services Azure ML offers.
  • Access to the Microsoft distribution channels – Microsoft Ventures is committed to help startups who have relevant products to our customers and partners get connected to them through our massive distribution channels. In addition, startups will receive assistance in getting set up on the Azure Marketplace allowing the Microsoft sales reps to sell their solutions with higher incentives.
  • Free of Microsoft Azure – startups in the program will be automatically enrolled to BizSpark Plus program and be credited for $500K of cloud usage (storage and compute) for 3 years, to be used in their own pace. This allows the startup to focus on the crucial business aspects of their company.

What’s in it for Microsoft?

From the experience Microsoft Ventures has acquired in the last 3.5 years, working with hundreds of startups from all around the world, we noticed startups are choosing to use Microsoft’s infrastructure because they see the great value in partnering with us. We would like to give more startups the opportunity to enjoy the values we provide them and create more partnerships for Microsoft.

 

Apply today at aka.ms/domoredata