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Artificial Intelligence

DARPA to Explore How AI Tools Can Help Train Adult Learners

Competition open for $750,000 in awards; proposal abstracts due Dec. 18, 2022

The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), an arm of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), is taking proposals to compete for $750,000 in awards to develop projects that use innovative AI approaches, such as self-directed, remote AI tutoring, to train adults for the current and future national security workforce.

DARPA is inviting technologists, researchers, students (including minors), teachers, and "creators of digital learning platforms or cutting-edge AI techniques to propose AI tools or technologies that can address the critical challenges facing adult learners," the agency said. Successful tools will seek to create customized new skills learning experiences aimed at adults who have completed postsecondary education. Read the DARPA AI Tools for Adult Learning FAQ for more information.

The competition is open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or U.S. entities. Non-U.S. participants can participate as part of a team but are not eligible to directly receive any part of an award. Go here to fill out an eligibility quiz.

There are three award levels:

  • Catalyst ($50,000): aimed at new participants, including students, teachers, civic technologists, or those who need that initial spark of support to get started.
  • Growth ($100,000): for teams that have a minimum viable product with some users upon which their new idea will build.
  • Transform ($250,000): for teams with an established platform with more than 10,000 users upon which the new idea will build.

Teams that qualify for the higher awards can compete for lesser awards if their project is in the beginning stages.

The deadline to submit abstracts is Dec. 18. 2022. A free engineering community virtual networking meeting is held the second Wednesday of every month at 1 p.m. EST. The next one will be held Dec. 14, 2022. Read more about DARPA here.

About the Author

Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.

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