The Hague will host the ‘Hackathon for good’ event during the weekend of 17 and 18 November. Experts in the field of Artificial Intelligence and big data will be presented with challenges that support the efforts of a number of international organisations and NGOs. With the help of smart data solutions, these organisations hope to make a worldwide difference in the fight against disasters, fake news and international injustice. Around 120 tech talents have signed up for the hackathon.

National and international teams

There is much enthusiasm for the hackathon. From over 200 entries, 120 participants were selected to take part in the event. The experts, from all over the world, will participate in teams. This includes teams from England, Uganda and India. To ensure that everyone remains focused, yoga classes and walks will be organised and energy managers, a vitality coach and masseurs will be present.

Challenges for peace and justice

The teams will tackle 6 challenges set out by international organisations and NGOs:

  • Red Cross Challenge 1: After a disaster such as an hurricane or typhoon, the Red Cross manually determines the damage to buildings and where emergency aid is most needed. The programmers are challenged to develop a new/improved algorithm which automatically analyses a disaster area so that the Red Cross can assess the situation as quickly as possible.
  • Red Cross Challenge 2: In the fight against disasters, the Red Cross combines data from digital maps and geographical systems to assess the affected area. The problem is that often the data is not comparable or cannot be combined. The participants will be challenged to combine the data from these systems as accurately as possible using a smart solution.
  • NCIA Challenge: The NATO Communications and Information Agency works with a number of organisations to identify fake news, propaganda and inflammatory information on social media, traditional media and other public sources. The hackers are challenged to analyse images as quickly as possible, for example using image recognition and A.I.
  • ICC Challenge: As part of collecting and analysing evidence, the International Criminal Court must examine information across many different formats in order to establish a relationship between individuals and locations. This is done by lawyers and can be very time-consuming. The International Criminal Court wants to automate this process.
  • World Vision Challenge: In order to improve disaster response, World Vision is looking for a comprehensive model which is able to predict disasters and determine the impact of making emergency funds available on time.
  • Asser Institute Challenge: In developing countries, land grabbing is a problem which has a major impact on already poor populations, often leading to loss of livelihoods and income. The Asser Institute challenges experts to build a tool which identifies common patterns and characteristics of land grabbing. As a result, risks in comparable areas or countries can be better assessed and land grabbing avoided.

Data Science Initiative

The jury will announce the 3 winners on Sunday, 18 November. The winners will receive a cash prize of € 2,500, € 5,000 or € 10,000.

The hackathon is the first visible project of the Data Science Initiative, an initiative of tech entrepreneurs, universities, government and knowledge institutions in The Hague which are committed to peace, justice and security through big data and Artificial Intelligence: Tech for good.