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KU Success at the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority Hackathon

January 20, 2020

Offering the opportunity for skilled individuals to showcase the future of Abu Dhabi through the applied use of artificial intelligence, the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority (ADDA) issued four challenges to teams comprising government employees, academia, and private sector startups. The ADDA Hackathon was in collaboration with KU’s Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Systems Institute, with a number of students from KU and EBTIC. At the ADDA Hackathon 2019, 16 teams competed from various UAE and international universities.

“The Hackathon involved applying artificial intelligence to tackle challenges set by Abu Dhabi government entities,” explained Dr. Ahmed Al Shoaibi, SVP Academic Affairs at KU. “The participating teams comprised a mix of government and industry employees, as well as university students. I’m pleased to report that the top three awards were won by teams led by KU students.”

Each challenge was issued by a government department and focused on applying artificial intelligence to a real business challenge. The 48-hour hackathon saw teams develop solutions for wildlife management, city traffic management, inspection route management, and government policy management.

First place was awarded to the team including Ahmed Al Dhanhani, Farah AlKurdi and Amenah Abood Salem from KU. This team took the challenge issued by the Department of Transport and investigated an Adaptive Toll System, based on historical data of traffic throughout the capital. Their model predicted traffic behavior and provided a solution for re-routing traffic for decongestion via an adaptive toll system.

Second place went to Ahmad Obeid, Maryam AlShehhi, Abdel Gafood Haddad, Mahmoud Khalil and Mohamed Alzarooni. This team proposed a solution for visual animal tagging to solve the Wildlife Management challenge. Their solution involved replacing physical animal tags with an intelligent visual identification system to help identify patterns and perform predictions on essential day-to-day animal functions.

In third place, Nada Alhashmi, Abdulla Alshimmari and Begad El Houty were the KU team members taking the Government Policy Management challenge, in which they developed a virtual assistant to augment ADDA employee functions around policy and standards enquiries.

The winning teams received monetary prizes and official certificates and were also invited to present their solutions at the preliminary session in the Digital Next to Global Audience in Abu Dhabi in December 2019.

Jade Sterling
News and Features Writer
20 January 2020