General
General

Scale AI and Austin Community College Host First Public Sector Generative AI Hackathon

Scale AI and Austin Community College District (ACC) recently teamed up to host a hackathon that enabled participants to craft prototypes with practical applications using Donovan, Scale’s AI-powered digital staff assistant. The hackathon, held on December 12 at the ACC Rio Grande Campus ACCelerator, brought together a dynamic blend of talent from ACC students and Soldiers from the Army Software Factory, part of the Army Futures Command, to craft pioneering AI solutions with real-world impact. At the core of this collaborative effort was allowing participants to explore application programming interfaces (APIs) and data to solve relevant challenges.

Students and Soldiers competed to build the most sophisticated projects and usage of Donovan’s model-agnostic chat and retrieval features to explore solutions around model evaluation, real-time knowledge sharing around mission-critical data and more. Industry-leading engineers from Scale provided guidance for participants, sharing their knowledge and experiences around AI, engineering, and building careers in this technical field. Participants worked in teams to share their skills and creativity to develop novel solutions leveraging Donovan’s API-driven capabilities in a supportive and engaging environment.

“This hackathon presented an opportunity to not only show students new artificial intelligence tools and technologies, but also allow them to explore, develop, learn and compete in a friendly environment,” said John Brennan, Scale’s General Manager, Public Sector. “Austin is a great talent hub for organizations like the Army Software Factory thanks to schools like ACC and Texas A&M.”

“Partnering with Scale means that we are not only providing students with the opportunity to share and improve their technical skills, but also that we are sharing with students what a career path at a startup could look like,” said Venancio Ybarra, dean of Computer Science/IT at ACC. “Many of our students here who major in STEM are interested in working in AI, and working with Scale for this event is a springboard to cultivate and explore interest in the industry.” 

The winning team built a system using Donovan to aggregate responses from several different large language model (LLM) responses to user queries and dynamically return the optimal response based on the average embeddings, showcasing Donovan’s model-agnostic platform being used in a strong mode evaluation use case. 

The second place team leveraged Donovan to build a training tool inspired by Jeopardy™ that generates new game templates based on user entered topics, enabling students to learn new concepts in a fun and engaging way. 

The third place team used Donovan to build an educational research database for law enforcement  focused on counter-narcotics. 

This hackathon underscored the power of collaboration within the innovation ecosystem between next-gen tech leaders at ACC, industry pioneers, and future military leaders. The Scale team would like to extend our appreciation to the entire ACC team–both administrators and students–who helped make this event a success!

 

General

Scale AI and Austin Community College Host First Public Sector Generative AI Hackathon

byon December 21, 2023

Scale AI and Austin Community College District (ACC) recently teamed up to host a hackathon that enabled participants to craft prototypes with practical applications using Donovan, Scale’s AI-powered digital staff assistant. The hackathon, held on December 12 at the ACC Rio Grande Campus ACCelerator, brought together a dynamic blend of talent from ACC students and Soldiers from the Army Software Factory, part of the Army Futures Command, to craft pioneering AI solutions with real-world impact. At the core of this collaborative effort was allowing participants to explore application programming interfaces (APIs) and data to solve relevant challenges.

Students and Soldiers competed to build the most sophisticated projects and usage of Donovan’s model-agnostic chat and retrieval features to explore solutions around model evaluation, real-time knowledge sharing around mission-critical data and more. Industry-leading engineers from Scale provided guidance for participants, sharing their knowledge and experiences around AI, engineering, and building careers in this technical field. Participants worked in teams to share their skills and creativity to develop novel solutions leveraging Donovan’s API-driven capabilities in a supportive and engaging environment.

“This hackathon presented an opportunity to not only show students new artificial intelligence tools and technologies, but also allow them to explore, develop, learn and compete in a friendly environment,” said John Brennan, Scale’s General Manager, Public Sector. “Austin is a great talent hub for organizations like the Army Software Factory thanks to schools like ACC and Texas A&M.”

“Partnering with Scale means that we are not only providing students with the opportunity to share and improve their technical skills, but also that we are sharing with students what a career path at a startup could look like,” said Venancio Ybarra, dean of Computer Science/IT at ACC. “Many of our students here who major in STEM are interested in working in AI, and working with Scale for this event is a springboard to cultivate and explore interest in the industry.” 

The winning team built a system using Donovan to aggregate responses from several different large language model (LLM) responses to user queries and dynamically return the optimal response based on the average embeddings, showcasing Donovan’s model-agnostic platform being used in a strong mode evaluation use case. 

The second place team leveraged Donovan to build a training tool inspired by Jeopardy™ that generates new game templates based on user entered topics, enabling students to learn new concepts in a fun and engaging way. 

The third place team used Donovan to build an educational research database for law enforcement  focused on counter-narcotics. 

This hackathon underscored the power of collaboration within the innovation ecosystem between next-gen tech leaders at ACC, industry pioneers, and future military leaders. The Scale team would like to extend our appreciation to the entire ACC team–both administrators and students–who helped make this event a success!

 


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