Get $5,000 for your open source AI project

Learn more


Stay In Touch

To receive announcements, and to be notified when applications open again later this year, sign up below.

Spring 2017 Fellows

The 10 Fellows below were chosen from more than 450 applicants. Each will receive $5,000 to pursue their project, no strings attached.

Spring 2017 Finalists

In addition to the ten fellows, 36 finalists are listed below.

  • Rowel Atienza, open-source dataset for Tagalog speech corpus.
  • Scott Hawley, Frank Baird, Tamara Baird, free heart & lung audio dataset.
  • Volkan Cirik, a language grounding dataset for Go games.
  • Chris Coughlin, aircraft damage detection.
  • Joshua Daniel Eisenberg, extracting narrative structure from long-form text.
  • Gabriel Goh, article on the Wasserstein metric.
  • Jeremy Raboff Gordon, augmenting Numenta's hierarchical temporal memory with neural timing.
  • Wah Loon Keng, Laura Graesser, an experimentation system for reinforcement learning using OpenAI Gym, Tensorflow, and Keras.
  • Logan Graham, a skunkworks AI team tackling social challenges.
  • Dang Ha The Hien, Tensorflow library for object recognition on mobile devices.
  • Stuart Andrew Hunt, distributed neuroevolution using Elixir/Erlang and NEAT/HyperNEAT.
  • Hussein Jaafar, R-CNN model for human cell classification.
  • Daniel Kang, speeding up CNN evaluations over video.
  • Ji-Sung Kim, novel deep learning models with minimal racial/gender/socioeconomic biases.
  • Minjae David Kim, robust massively parallel GPU-enabled optimizer.
  • Bart Kolendowski, using machine learning to characterize cancer and predict outcomes from cancer treatments.
  • Edward Lee, predicting survival times in lung cancer patients.
  • Eli Litwack, using computer vision to assist dyslexics in reading.
  • Stefanie Lück, replace manual microscopy with automated object detection and prediction.
  • Rahul Makhijani, identifying child pornography in videos with deep learning and no training data.
  • Colin Morris, named entity generation.
  • Brian Muhia, generating FastText skipgram models for Kenyan languages.
  • Ojash Neopane, datasets and algorithms for autonomous surgery.
  • Liam Paull,, an open source reproducible advanced autonomy class, a standardized research project, and a robotics outreach effort.
  • Gerry Pesavento, recycling robot.
  • Lenka Pitonakova, creating an on-line platform for swarm robotics, where robot code and algorithm designs can be exchanged and collaborated on in an open-source fashion.
  • Nikhila Ravi and Anshul Bhagi, a comprehensive guide to building conversational agents from first principles.
  • Nancy Fulda and Daniel Ricks, expand and augment the Interactive Fiction Learning Environment so that it can be a useful tool for AI researchers.
  • Michael Schaarschmidt, TensorForce: practical deep reinforcement learning on top of TensorFlow.
  • Benjamin Schreck, computer-generated rap lyrics.
  • Sanuj Sharma, deep learning applied to biomedical image processing
  • Tim Shi, deep learning experiment framework.
  • Aditya/Adi Sidapara, a chatbot to report racially motivated violence and domestic abuse.
  • Christof Stocker, data partitioning, preprocessing, generation, resampling, and cross validation library for Julia.
  • Sean Vasquez and Hassan Kane, handwriting generation tool + creation of new dataset.
  • Natalie Widmann, detecting political and ideological reporting bias in newspapers.


Can anyone apply?

Yes – any age, any country, no credentials required.

What type of project qualifies?

Any project in AI, large or small, as long as you release your work under the MIT or Apache 2.0 license. If possible, any datasets employed should also be released.

As for what qualifies as "AI," I'm open-minded. Your project can be:

  • contributing to an existing open source project
  • creating a new framework or tool
  • researching a new technique
  • applying an existing algorithm to a new problem
  • creating or curating a free dataset that others can use
  • educating, explaining, or otherwise helping people learn new or existing techniques

…or anything else that feels like AI.

How will you select the winners?

I'm looking for smart people with interesting ideas that could be useful to the world. I'll pay extra attention to projects that seem like they won't get funded another way.

Some friends who know a lot about AI will help review applications (if you know a lot about AI and want to help review applications, email me!)

I have a job. Can I still apply?

Yes! Anyone can apply. You just need to make sure that your employer will let you release your work under the MIT or Apache 2.0 license.

Can teams apply?

Yes. Multiple people can apply together as a team. Please fill out a single application, but provide background information for each person in the team. You should designate a lead person to coordinate the interview as well as receive and distribute/spend the money.

How does it work if I win?

I'll give you 50% up front. I'll check in with you before sending the second half. Then I'll do a follow-up phone call and/or email at the end to hear how it went.

I'll publish a list of all the winners on after they've been selected, and maybe when the projects complete, or reach interesting milestones.

During the project, you don't need to make regular reports on your progress (though I'd be happy to hear from you).

How do I apply?

We're not currently accepting applications. To be alerted when the next round opens, please sign up for our mailing list.

How do I get the money?

I can send you the money via PayPal, wire transfer, or bitcoin.

I love this idea and I want to help! Can I provide additional funding, hardware, GPU time, datasets, mentorship, or help reviewing applications?

Yes! 🙏 Thank you for being awesome! If you want to contribute in any way, please email me.

Are you doing this as part of a company?

Nope, this is just me. The money is an unrestricted personal gift. It's not an equity investment or loan, I won't own any of your intellectual property, and there's no contract to sign.

Will this be a regular thing?

It looks that way! Sign up to receive future announcements.

Where did you get the idea to do this?

This post is inspired by, and directly borrows many elements from Nadia Eghbal's amazing no-strings-attached grant program. Thanks, Nadia!