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Etihad and Cognit to hold Watson hackathon

Hackathon for Abu Dhabi university teams to take place in Innovation Week

Etihad and Cognit to hold Watson hackathon
The hackathon demonstrates Cognit's commitment to STEM education and the start-up community, says Al Jabri.

Etihad Airways and IBM Watson company Cognit are set to host a Watson Hackathon as part of UAE Innovation Week.

The competition will task teams of students from Abu Dhabi universities with using IBM Watson cognitive learning technology to create new applications for the travel and aviation industry.

During the three-day hackathon, students will learn how to manipulate and operate IBM's AlchemyAPIs and Bluemix deep learning cloud platforms to create Watson applications. IBM Watson chief developer, Sam Richard will be on hand to mentor the the students.

The contest will be held at Etihad's Innovation Centre, with participation from 30 science and engineering students from the Institute of Applied Technology, Higher Colleges of Technology, Khalifa University and New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD). The event will also include demonstrations of many different applications of Watson, including real deployments.

The Cognit and Etihad hackathon will take place at Etihad's state-of-the-art Innovation Centre, and will feature the skills of over 30 talented computer science and engineering students - both female and male. The students were selected from leading Abu Dhabi based universities, including the Institute of Applied Technology, Higher Colleges of Technology, Khalifa University and New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD). Hackathon participants will utilize IBM Watson's transformative cognitive technology to create new innovative applications to benefit the travel and aviation industry

Amal Al Jabri, general manager, Cognit, commented: "Cognit was launched exactly one year ago, during UAE Innovation Week 2015 and I am proud to be able to celebrate along with the rest of the nation to promote the ICT talent and continued ICT transformation in our nation. The hackathon, in partnership with Etihad, demonstrates an important commitment Cognit has not only to advance the interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and skills with students, but also to the broader local developer and start-up community who can help ignite the UAE's knowledge based economy aspirations. I wish all of the talented hackathon students every success, and I look forward to seeing their innovative ideas at the end of the week."

Robert Webb, chief information & technology officer, Etihad Aviation Group, added: "Etihad has been a true pioneer in the investment and advancement of transformative technology, including IBM Watson, not just within the aviation industry but the business environment. We believe cognitive computing will shape the future of aviation, locally and internationally, and this week's hackathon alongside our partner, Cognit, demonstrates our passion for challenging the status quo. We encourage the students to think creatively to develop new solutions that could revolutionize our sector."

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