SRM's Next Tech Lab Wins top two prizes at Microsoft GAINS Hackathon, Hyderabad

Two Teams from students from SRM Institute of Science and Technology (formerly known as SRM University)'s Next Tech Lab won the First and shared the Second Prize and a cash award of 1 Lakh and 75000 INR at the Microsoft Garage GAINS AI Hackathon held at the Microsoft Campus at Hyderabad on 9 December 2017.

With more than 1000 teams from all across the country who had signed up to participate, only 40 teams were shortlisted for the on-site round consisting of teams from IIT Roorkee, IIIT Hyderabad, IIT Hyderabad and other major institutions. Following a prototyping round, the top 20 teams were selected to the final showcase round, from which the two teams emerged victoriously.

Team Minsky consisting of Sree Harsha Nelaturu, Aparna Krishnakumar, Anith Patel, Maneesha Dendukri won the first place, the team created a Deep Learning based solution that enabled those with disabilities such as that of hearing and Aspergers could use to experience video content and also an application which could be used by users to enhance video-viewing experience. This is achieved by a combination of neural artistic style transfer and sentiment analysis, which enhances the frames of the video and highlights the subtitles for dramatic effect, and this application would also help bridge the language barrier in artistic content.

Team Smartyplants consisting of Chirag Parmar, Yadhukrishna Pai, and Venkatesh R shared the second place and the team built a product which aims at making plants self-reliant. The plant vitals are collected via various sensors kept in the soil. This data is sent to a machine learning model which predicts if the plants require any resources. If it does, then the plant buys the automatically via ethereum blockchain.

The team belongs to the Minsky Lab and IoT Lab at Next Tech, where they innovate on cutting edge technology in the field of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and IoT. Next Tech Lab was founded by Anshuman Pandey and Aditthya Ramakrishnan upon their return from MIT after the Fall 2015 term. Inspired by the MIT Media Lab model of interdisciplinary research, Next Tech includes Minsky Lab for Artificial Intelligence, Tesla Lab for Electrical Devices, IoT Lab for the Internet of Things, Pausch Lab for Extended Reality, and Franklin Lab for Computational Biology. The lab has made its mark time and again with members presenting their research at prestigious conferences, winning some of the world’s largest hackathons and interning at elite research universities like MIT, CMU, and Harvard.



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