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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What is the Perlin AI 4 All Global Hackathon?
The AI 4 ALL GLOBAL HACKATHON is a hackathon looking for AI solutions that implement Privacy Preserving Techniques and Distributed Computing Infrastructure for use cases in India. The main challenge of the hackathon is:

How can AI be used to have a significant positive social and economic impact and advance India?

Perlin will also work closely in partnership with PT Telkom to explore how winning submissions can be developed and implemented to also benefit Indonesian communities. With a combined population of 1.6 billion people in India and Indonesia (over 20% of the world’s population!), this represents a compelling opportunity for AI developers and companies globally to have a positive and meaningful real-world impact. The grand vision is for winning teams to develop and implement their AI Submissions with the support of the hackathon sponsors in other developing democracies and emerging economies globally.

What is the Hackathon Format?
The Hackathon will be run in TWO Stages:

Stage 1 - Idea Submissions
Participants must first submit their Idea Submissions via the online portal addressing how their AI-based solutions can be used to address the Hackathon Challenge. These may include any type of AI use case in order to win the STAGE 1 prizes (see below).

However, participants are required to submit solutions that incorporate elements of Privacy Preserving AI and/or Distributed Computing in order to progress to STAGE 2 and be eligible to win Stage 2 prizes (see below).

To register for the hackathon, please fill out the form here.
Upon registration you will be sent:
(i) A link to the Hackathon STAGE 1 IDEA SUBMISSION Form, and
(ii) A PDF copy of the STAGE 1 IDEA SUBMISSION Form questions to assist you in drafting responses in advance.

Stage 2 - Hack Submissions
A short-list of the top candidates from STAGE 1 will be invited to progress as finalists to STAGE 2 - Hack Submissions. An additional STAGE 2 submission form will be sent to all finalists. This requires developing an AI-based solution that meets the Hackathon challenge.

This may include ideas that have been developed into AI applications based on Privacy Preserving Techniques and/or Distributed Computing. While the Hack Submissions need not be fully developed, it must be in demo form for the Judges to view and assess.

What are the Hackathon prizes?
There are two sets of prizes, one for each stage:

Stage 1 - Idea Prize: The top Idea Submissions will share in a total prize pool worth USD $12,500.
1st Place: A cheque for $5,000 USD & $3,000 USD in cloud computing credits on Perlin
2nd Place: A cheque for $2,500 USD & $1,000 USD in cloud computing credits on Perlin
3rd Place: $1,000 USD in cloud computing credits on Perlin

Stage 2 - Hack Prize: The best Hack Submissions will share in a total prize pool worth USD $37,500. STAGE 2 finalists will also be provided early access to the Perlin compute layer testnet and invited to develop their solution developed during STAGE 2. Mentoring and support will be provided to finalists by the hackathon sponsors.
1st Place: A cheque for $10,000 USD & $10,000 USD in cloud computing credits on Perlin
2nd Place: A cheque for $5,000 USD & $5,000 USD in cloud computing credits on Perlin
3rd Place: A cheque for $2,500 USD & $5,000 USD in cloud computing credits on Perlin

Prize Winners will also gain international exposure to recognised leaders, innovators and influencers in the AI and technology space. Additionally, winners will be invited to partner with Perlin, NITI Aayog and other Hackathon Sponsors to further develop and implement their solutions that positively impact communities in India and Indonesia (with a view to scale it for global implementation). This may include further advisory, mentorship and business/technical coaching support.

What are the key dates of the Hackathon?
Stage 1 - Idea Submissions:
15 Nov 2018 - Hackathon Launch. Applications for STAGE 1 Idea Submissions are open.
15 Jan 2019 - Applications for STAGE 1 Idea Submissions are closed.
31 Jan 2019 - STAGE 1 winners are announced and prizes awarded.

Stage 2 - Hack Submissions:
31 Jan 2019 - Shortlist of Finalists is announced and STAGE 2 Hack Submissions invited.
27 Feb 2019 - Deadline for STAGE 2 Hack Submissions.
15 Mar 2019 - Announcement of STAGE 2 winners and final prizes awarded.

Official winners at STAGE 1 & 2 and the details of their Submissions will be published on the Perlin and NITI Aayog websites.

What constitutes “Privacy Preserving”?
“Privacy Preserving” refers to the ability to train AI models on specific datasets while keeping the dataset itself obscured from all external parties using encryption techniques , in order to unlock the utility of that data that would have otherwise been inaccessible due to privacy concerns.

What constitutes “Distributed Computing”?
“Distributed Computing” is a system whose components are located on different networked computers, which then communicate and coordinate their actions by passing messages to one another.

What constitutes “AI”?
“AI” (including its sub-categories of Machine Learning (ML) and Data Analytics (DA)) can be characterized as any process for the training of software (i.e. a model) to generate new outputs based on a defined set of data inputs. For example, models can be used to generate predictions of future outcomes based on historical data. For the purposes of the Hackathon, we are open to considering models which vary widely in sophistication, from relatively simple linear regressions based on Excel to very complex algorithms run on AI platforms.

What constitutes “positive impact”?
“Positive impact” in this sense, is subjectively defined as a meaningful beneficial outcome resulting from an AI-based solution that has social, economic and technology based impacts.

What subject categories may Submissions cover?
In no particular order, a non-exhaustive list of subject categories participants may wish to focus on are:

  • Social inclusion
  • Economic inclusion
  • Environment
  • Health or access to healthcare
  • Education and employment
  • Government
  • Infrastructure
  • Energy
  • Safety and security
  • Media and entertainment
  • Arts, culture and humanities

Some specific example areas where AI can be applied for positive impact include the following:
  • Air pollution challenges and public health in heavily populated cities
  • Safety and security of vulnerable groups (e.g. women and children)
  • Tracking deforestation, fires and endangered animal populations
  • Greater social and economic inclusion, transparency and equity
  • Fostering a robust, thriving and open sharing economy
  • Driving greater and more efficient innovation across industry sectors
  • Creating positive social and environmental impact
  • Health, nutrition and sanitation in impoverished communities
  • Better access to education, up-skilling and employment opportunities
  • Ethical and socially desirable enhancements to safety and security
  • Creating robust health economics leveraging Medicare data
  • Digital Certificate for University/ Academic/ Personal Intellectual Property
  • Use case for P2P lending for the unbanked masses

Why are Perlin and NITI Aayog hosting the Hackathon?
Both Perlin and NITI Aayog are committed to improving the lives of billions of people by supporting innovation in AI and future-tech that is directed at fostering positive social, economic and technology based impacts in Indian communities. While the current Hackathon is focused on India, the longer-term vision is for the implementation of AI technology that also improves people’s lives in Indonesia and on a global scale.


Who is eligible to participate in the Hackathon?

This includes any research organizations, not-for-profits, social enterprises and other project teams around the world. We are looking for innovators, pioneers and thought-leaders who are passionate about developing leading-edge AI technology directed at improving the lives of impoverished, marginalized and otherwise vulnerable communities.

However, teams based in the following countries are not permitted to enter: Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, or any other sanctioned country are not eligible to enter. Final decision as to who is eligible to enter is at Perlin’s absolute discretion.

Can I enter both STAGE 1 & 2 of the Hackathon?
Anyone can enter STAGE 1. However STAGE 2 participants are by invitation only as per the Hackathon rules.

What is the format for entering Stage 1 Idea Submissions?
Participants must submit their STAGE 1 IDEA SUBMISSION by completing the STAGE 1 FORM HERE. Instructions are provided.

What is the format for entering Stage 2 Hack Submissions?
Once advised that your STAGE 1 IDEA SUBMISSION has been successful, Entrants will be invited to provide their STAGE 2 HACK SUBMISSION by completing the STAGE 2 FORM (to be provided). This form will be sent to you by the Hackathon Organisers and will require you to provide further information (including a demo) of the AI application you have developed. A short video presentation and demo of your AI solution will be required.

All STAGE 2 HACK SUBMISSIONS must be provided in English.

Can I access a copy of the Submission Form questions?
Yes. An advanced copy of the STAGE 1 IDEA SUBMISSION questions can be found HERE.

Can I provide additional information?
The STAGE 1 IDEA SUBMISSION Form will both provide you with an opportunity to provide additional information on your Submission. However, we will not accept any additional materials or attachments that are not already included in the relevant forms.

Can I save a draft copy my Submission and complete it later?
No. All Submissions must be completed in a single session using the relevant online form. We strongly recommend you create a draft Submission in a separate document to save your responses before your final Submission.

Will my Submission be confirmed?
Yes. Once you have completed all the necessary fields in the online form, you will see an on-screen message confirming that you have made a successful Submission. You will also receive a separate email confirmation.

When will I know if my Submission has been successful?
Once you have made your STAGE 1 IDEA SUBMISSION, no further action is required. Upon review of all the Submissions by the team, all participants will be notified as to whether they will progress to STAGE 2 - HACK SUBMISSION. This will occur no later than 31 January 2019.

Once you have made your STAGE 2 HACK SUBMISSION, no further action is required by you. Once the Hackathon Judges have completed their review of all STAGE 2 HACK SUBMISSIONS and selected Prize Winners, all Entrants will be advised of the outcome. This will occur no later than 15 March 2019.


Can we make a joint Submission with other projects?
We encourage collaboration at every level and welcome joint submissions between organizations. The Submission Form will allow you to designate a Primary Entrant and any relevant partners. However, please note that any prizes and/or benefits awarded for your final Submission will be attributed solely to the primary Entrant. It will be the responsibility of the Primary Entrant to determine how it chooses to distribute any such prizes or benefits with its relevant partners.

Can we make multiple Submissions?
We will only accept 1 Submission per organization (other than learning institutions - see below). If you have several Submissions you believe have merit, we strongly encourage you to identify the Submission that most closely aligns with the Hackathon vision for using AI to benefit communities based in India, Indonesia and globally, and which can be implemented in practice.

How advanced must my Submission be to be considered?
We will consider all Submissions that clearly articulate a credible and feasible plan for design, development and implementation, from very early-stage projects to projects already in progress.

Does my Submission need to be unique?
No. Your Submission does not need to be new or unique, but it must be directed at benefiting the lives of communities based in India in a real and meaningful way. Each organizations will be assessed on the Hackathon Assessment Criteria.

What if I am part of a large organization (e.g. university with multiple departments)?
Learning institutions such as universities and other technical colleges may enter more than 1 Submission. However, only 1 Submission may be entered per faculty or per staff member who is an authorized representative of the university/institution.

Does the dataset I plan to use for my Submission need to already exist?
No. You do not need to have an existing dataset. We will consider all Submissions that include a credible plan for collecting, compiling or accessing the data required to implement your Submission.

Does my organization need to be an AI firm?
No. We will consider any Submission entered by an organization that can articulate a clear plan. However, if you are not a firm already involved in AI development, we would strongly encourage you to partner with a firm that is able to provide technical support for your Submission.

How can I use the prizes and/or other benefits awarded by the Hackathon
It is at your discretion how you choose to employ any prizes and/or benefits awarded via the Hackathon. However, we strongly encourage you to utilize the prizes on the implementation of your Submission. The allocation of resources (including prizes awarded) will factor in the assessment of each Submission.

How will Submissions be assessed?
The Hackathon Assessment Criteria is detailed in the table below:

Hackathon Criteria
ThemeScore (0-10)CriteriaDescription
Idea & Use Case10CreativityHow creative, innovative or complex is the idea?
10ViabilityHow relevant is the idea’s use case with respect to the theme - AI to AI? Can it be sold effectively?
10ClarityIs the quality of the presentation clear? Does it make sense?
Experience10IntuitivenessIs the overall user experience and process intuitive?
10ValueHow quickly does the solution become apparent upon initial use? Would it require documentation to understand?
Implementation10FeasibilityDoes it actually work? Could this scale as a real solution with a large network of users?
10UniquenessHow novel is the idea? How well does it use a variety of open-source libraries by Perlin and the distributed cloud computing platform.
People Impact10SocialDoes the idea achieve greater social and economic inclusion? Such as a sharing economy, driving greater and more efficient innovation across industry sectors, better access to education and employment opportunities.
Use of Privacy Preserving AI & Distributed Computing10Privacy Preserving AI Does the idea propose an innovative use case based on Privacy Preserving AI?
10Distributed ComputingDoes the idea propose an innovative use case based on distributed computing?
The extent to which each Submission meets these Assessment Criteria will be scored by the Perlin Hackathon Assessment Team and Hackathon Judges. Please note that the final selection of successful submissions and prize winners is at the absolute discretion of Perlin, working closely with the Hackathon Judges.


Will the details of my Stage 1 Idea Submission be kept confidential?
No. Please do not provide any information that you consider proprietary or confidential as part of your STAGE 1 IDEA SUBMISSION as this will not be treated as such. The information you provide in your Submission may be shared with internal and external Hackathon organizers, staff and Judges in order to assess your Submission. Should you be successful in being selected as a Prize Winner, a summary of your Submission will be made publicly available on the Perlin and NITI Aayog websites and in an PR/media releases issued by each.

Will the details of my STAGE 2 HACK SUBMISSION be kept confidential?
If there is any component of your STAGE 2 HACK SUBMISSION that you wish to keep confidential and proprietary, please clearly communicate this to the Hackathon organizers.


Who owns the intellectual property created for Submissions?
The vision for the Hackathon is to benefit communities in India, Indonesia and around the world. Therefore, we encourage all Entrants to make any intellectual property (IP) used in their Submission freely available to the public under an appropriate open-source license. The standard Prize Winner agreements will be drafted to reflect this overarching vision.

However, we will consider an exception if there is a compelling reason you believe the IP used in your Submission (and to be further developed using the Hackathon Prizes) should be owned and used exclusively by your organization. Please any such request clear and explicit in your communications with the Hackathon organizers.

Will I be required to share my dataset(s) with the Hackathon organizers?
The Hackathon organizers and Judges may request a sample of any dataset(s) used by you for the purposes of assessing your Submission. However, we will not require teams to provide the complete dataset(s). Please do not include your dataset(s) as part of your Submission.

What if I have questions not covered by these FAQs?
Please email us at We will review every email and post responses to commonly asked questions here.

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