Announcement: Michael Lindsay from the X Prize Foundation

Michael Lindsay from the X Prize Foundation announced the possible development of an upcoming series of education X Prizes. After a video about past and current X Prizes, Lindsay provided new details about their latest incentive competitions.

Education is a challenge, especially in the United States. The public perceives the school system as broken. The system is antiquated and tailored toward groups of children rather than an individual student.

X Prize will focus on educational software improvements in upcoming education prizes. Competitors will creates adaptive educational software with near real-time student assessment and diagnostic capabilities with interactive game-like interfaces. The subjects to be covered first are Algebra 1, Basic Literacy, and Second Language Acquisition.

A learning achievement goals of two sigma (average student achievement greater than 98% of classroom students) was suggested.

Can software improve learning? A recent study suggests current software solutions do not, but the X Prize Foundation would like to show that breakthrough software could do so in the near future. Some possibilities include networked gaming settings, intelligent software, peer-to-peer, and teacher-assisted.

While no specific prizes and amounts were announced, Lindsay asked for audience comments regarding development of future prizes. The responses were, perhaps expectedly, opinionated and passionate. When asked by Lindsay if the problem of education might be solved within ten years, a minority of audience members raised their hands.

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Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a writer and poet. His first published poem, "Roadside Freak Show," arrives on August 21, 2017 in Impossible Archetype.  His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (, on Goodreads (richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).