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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)- Jamaica! Al Nation
Jamaica! AI Nation - An IBM & NCB BlueHack Collaboration, November 4-5 2017
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a BlueHack?
BlueHack is an innovation marathon that uses IBM technology and IBM Research as assets. The event is run in collaboration with our strategic business partners who are either just starting or currently leading their own digital innovation journeys. Over 24 hours, we bring together more than 100 participants who work together to write code that has the potential to solve industry and societal challenges.
Unlike other hackathons that use an almost scorched-earth approach, building up developer expectations, but providing little opportunity for growth, BlueHacks are intended to build out the developer ecosystem offering exposure, access to networks and business and technology mentoring. To ensure solutions are not being developed in a vacuum, we work with clients and the public sector to define real challenges that if solved drive top line growth for business and improve the quality of public sector services.
Why run a BlueHack in Jamaica?
IBM Caribbean is on a mission to grow digital skills across Jamaica and the wider Caribbean region. We know that government and the private sector have similar ambitions. Through BlueHacks, we seek to identify developer talent and tap their creativity, helping to grow the digital innovation pipeline across the region. BlueHacks also provide us with a unique opportunity to introduce IBM’s cloud- based, next generation technologies to the Caribbean region, engaging existing and potential clients in a new way.
Who is sponsoring the event?
IBM and NCB are co-sponsoring the event with money and via significant volunteer involvement from their respective organizations.
Why did NCB agree to join IBM and launch the first ever BlueHack in the Caribbean?
As Jamaica’s largest bank, also leading their own digital innovation journey, the effort aligned well with NCB’s goals to:
Collaborate with digital technology companies and fintechs in order to drive greater innovation and growth across the Caribbean region
Proactively identify innovative product and service solutions to help transform and improve the customers’ experience
What does the theme for the event mean?
Jamaica! AI Nation was selected to signal the country’s coming digital revolution. Thoughts of innovation have been seeded throughout the island, but we are on a push to really have those efforts bear fruit – results - new businesses, better services. AI is the future and for Jamaica, it means more business will be created that can deliver digital services such as personalized banking and insurance solutions, education that enhances student creativity and better government services that support the development of a more vibrant society.
What business and societal challenges are being addressed?
Participants will develop solutions that address the business and societal challenges as outlined below:
Next Generation Customer Loyalty Solutions (augmented reality, chatbot advisors, facial recognition to simplify identity management, etc)
Blockchain to simplify transactions, reduce fraud and improve KYC compliance
Cognitive Classroom, transforming learning experiences
Next Generation Customer Loyalty Solutions
Technology has opened up more ways of identifying customers, what and where they buy. New digital solutions will allow businesses to become intertwined in the daily lives of consumers. Goldman Sachs has predicted that the augmented reality market will be worth $80bn by 2025. Digital advisors are changing the financial management landscape with fintechs and established players such as Wells Fargo introducing Robo-Advisors. The virtual advisors are client-centric and use emerging technology to improve the experience getting financial advice. One of NCB’s strategies is to use technology to better meet the evolving customer needs at different life-stages.
Participants in this challenge will be required to demonstrate the use of a range of IBM technologies to generate meaningful applications to engage customers whether through as personal digital advisors, product interaction via augmented reality or any other technology that will drive loyalty.
Blockchain to simplify transactions, reduce fraud and improve KYC compliance
Banks and other financial services institutions around the world are leading the charge to drive blockchain adoption. Pilot and full-scale implementations already underway use blockchain to simplify and secure the administrative processes that drive payments, to ensure KYC compliance and to reduce the potential for fraudulent transactions. The beauty of using blockchain in banking for electronic record-keeping and transaction-processing systems is that it lets all parties track documentation through a secure network and requires no third-party verification. NCB is looking for creative ideas along these lines to simplify transaction, reduce fraud and improve KYC compliance.
In this challenge, participants will use IBM’s Hyperledger Fabric to create tamper-proof, distributed ledger prototypes that deliver value for NCB and Jamaica. Successfully addressing this challenge will put them head to head with other developers and teams around the world that rely on IBM’s enterprise-grade Hyperledger Fabric for secure, flexible and modular blockchain implementations.
As digital technologies transform the world, elementary and secondary education curricula struggle to keep pace and ensure students have the tools they need to take charge in our brave new digital world. In Jamaica, students spend a lot of time focusing on office productivity tools such as Microsoft Word or Powerpoint as a part of ICT curricula and much less time learning how to code. In other places, such as the UK, plans are already on the way to ensure five year-olds can code.
In this challenge, participants will use their creativity to focus on smart ways to make coding more fun, relevant or accessible for Jamaican students and teachers. Is there a way to use the TJ Bot to make learning more fun? Can they use AI to develop a system that makes it easy for teachers to bring more coding to the classroom, even with resource constraints?
Building Digital Skills in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean Region
Why are IBM and NCB interested in growing the Caribbean’s innovation pipeline?
With technology evolving so rapidly in recent years, it is difficult to find enough candidates with the right digital skill sets to fill the critical jobs in our organizations. For us, making investments to build digital skills is a mission critical imperative if we hope to be successful in Jamaica and the broader Caribbean region.
The focus on building digital skills also aligns our corporate goals with Jamaica’s Vision 2030 as it aspires to ensure the Jamaican economy is prosperous and that Jamaicans are empowered to achieve their fullest potential. The digital economy is here and we must have well equipped human resources who understand how the digital economy works and how to claim their share of the opportunity that it presents.
What else is IBM doing to grow digital skills in the Caribbean?
Across the globe, IBM has made significant investments to grow what we are calling new collar jobs – jobs where skills matter more than a degree. We have just started to kick-off these efforts in the Caribbean. Passion for coding and curiosity about digital technologies are the new calling cards that will allow job-seekers to get a foot in the door.
The range of IBM programs and offerings to help grow digital skills will include 6-month BlueMix access to university students and startups, an EdTech curriculum that can be used to enhance K-12 instruction and stimulate interest in coding and STEM, and tools that developers can use to grow their skills and connect to global developer community.