Press Release

DAIA launches #COVIDathon, the first Decentralized AI hackathon to support the medical community with solutions against COVID-19

The AI Community brings together hackers, doctors and biologists to build tech solutions addressing the global pandemic.


Berlin — March 26th, 2020Decentralized Artificial Intelligence Alliance (DAIA), an organization of 50+ companies, labs and nonprofits, is initiating COVIDathon, the world’s first decentralized AI hackathon with a mission to develop and launch open-source code and tools, supported, informed, and guided by medical, AI, and blockchain experts and principles, to reduce the risk of current and future infectious outbreaks, and cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Powered by DAIA, the hackathon is a joint effort coordinated by decentralized substrate for the data economy Ocean Protocol and decentralized AI leader, SingularityNET.

“The coronavirus is a relentless threat to people and the global economy. For the first time, the world is united against a common enemy. By freely sharing data and AI on a global scale, technologists can bring their special talents to bear and get ahead of this menace to defeat it,” says Bruce Pon, leader in blockchain and Co-Founder of Ocean Protocol.

The founding members — Ocean Protocol and SingularityNET, are also supported by world class leaders in blockchain, genetics and healthcare. This includes:

  • NTH Opinion, a US-based AI healthtech firm, founded by medical doctors currently on the frontline fighting the COVID-19.
  • Aragon, an open-source software project that allows for the creation and management of decentralized organizations (DAOs).
  • Shivom, biotech data and genetics analytics firm.
  • NEM, peer-to-peer blockchain platform.

Teams from DAIA’s member list and beyond are joining the effort, responding to the urgent global need for innovative technology and organization relevant to combating COVID-19 and minimizing risk of further pandemics.

The value of decentralized AI is especially powerful here, because only AI that’s developed and deployed in a decentralized way puts the tools for combating COVID-19 in the hands of the affected people themselves,” explains Dr. Ben Goertzel, AI pioneer, Chairman of DAIA and CEO of SingularityNET. “To provide what’s needed on the time-scale demanded is going to require a coordinated effort across the AI development community which is why we’ve initiated COVIDathon.

The COVIDathon founding members will provide tech assistance, technology and 1-on-1 mentorship to the hackathon participants. COVIDathon leadership is looking for other projects, both DAIA and non-DAIA members, to collaborate in supporting the initiative.

The COVIDathon, hosted on DevPost, will officially start on April 1st and submissions will be open until June 1st. The hackathon features four distinct tracks:

  • Data Privacy and Sovereignty
  • Medicine and Epidemiology
  • Informational and Coping Tools
  • Open Innovation

Dr. Axel Shumacher, geneticist and Co-Founder of decentralized biomedical AI project Shivom notes: “COVIDathon provides a platform to be proactive, collaborative, inspired, and to help solve one of the biggest puzzles of our time.”

The not-for-profit hackathon is open to active participation from developers, technologists, doctors, entrepreneurs worldwide. An expert panel of judges will be assembled, including AI, blockchain and medical experts, to assess the contributions for each track.

COVID-19 has disrupted the lives of millions, starting in China, and expanding worldwide. The global economy continues to be seriously impacted, as well as routine social activity. The majority of reports state that with or without travel bans, social distancing and other measures, the virus and its effects will continue to proliferate for weeks, most likely for months to come. Important resources are currently being used in the development and testing for a vaccine which will likely continue for the next 12 to 18 months.

While China has fairly effectively used its centralized power to provide medical data to research institutes and location data of its citizens to track down the virus, China’s centralized control of information dissemination was also partly responsible for the speed of spread of the virus in its early days. Conversely, other nations such as the US which have responded to COVID-19 in a more localized and distributed manner have been slowed and hampered by lack of effective decentralized methods for coordination and information dissemination. We propose to use cutting-edge decentralized technology to provide more effective ways of addressing the multiple problems associated with tracking, controlling, understanding and ultimately curing pandemics. Due to time sensitivity, the most applicable and scalable solutions will be made public to support the general scientific community.


#About DAIA, Decentralized AI Alliance

DAIA is a non-profit foundation founded in May 2018 by Ben Goertzel, Toufi Saliba and Simone’ Giacomelli to unite companies, nonprofits and labs working on systems and tools to decentralize and democratize access to and creation of Artificial Intelligence. Its membership currently counts 50+ companies from all over the world.

#About Ocean Protocol

Ocean Protocol is a decentralized data exchange protocol to unlock data for AI, launched in 2017. Leveraging blockchain technology, Ocean Protocol connects data providers and consumers, allowing data to be shared while guaranteeing traceability, transparency, and trust for all stakeholders involved. It allows data owners to give value to and have control over their data assets without being locked-into any single marketplace.

#About SingularityNET

SingularityNET is a full-stack AI solution powered by a decentralized protocol. SingularityNET’s core goal is to provide an intelligent fabric for AI algorithms to talk to each other — and in doing so, to provide both a teeming commercial marketplace for advanced AI solutions across vertical markets and the basis for the emergence of the world’s first true Artificial General Intelligence. The SingularityNET founders believe in open source and decentralized control, so that no single individual, corporation, or government will be able to dominate AI as it becomes increasingly more generally intelligent and capable. The project gathered the leading minds in machine learning and blockchain to democratize access to AI technology.

Follow Ocean Protocol on Twitter, Telegram, LinkedIn, GitHub & Newsletter for project updates and announcements. And chat directly with other developers on Discord.

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