Facebook Launches Competition To Improve Detection of COVID-19 Participants Will Use Symptom Data Gathered by CMU, UMaryland

Byron SpiceTuesday, September 1, 2020

CMU is a partner in Facebook's COVID-19 Symptom Data Challenge.

Facebook is sponsoring a competition, the COVID-19 Symptom Data Challenge, in which participants will try to improve early detection and situational awareness of the outbreak using real-time symptom data that Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Maryland have been collecting with Facebook's help.

CMU and Maryland are partners in the competition, along with the Joint Program in Survey Methodology and Resolve to Save Lives. The Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy is hosting the challenge.

Phase I competitors will submit their novel analytic approach using public data from the Symptom Survey, which CMU's Delphi Research Group and the University of Maryland run. Facebook invites a sampling of its users each day to answer the survey questions about COVID-19-related symptoms and behaviors. The CMU and Maryland researchers run the survey and publicly share aggregate results. Facebook doesn't have access to individual responses.

The Delphi group, which surveys U.S. users, shares its data publicly on its COVIDcast website. To date, it has collected more than 10 million U.S. survey responses.

Applications for phase I are due September 29. Judges will select five semi-finalists based on validity, scientific rigor, impact and user experience, with each receiving $5,000. In Phase II, the finalists will develop prototypes that will be presented at an unveiling event. The first-place winner will receive $50,000 and the runner-up will receive $25,000. The winning design also will be featured on the Facebook Data for Good website.

Learn more about the COVID-19 Symptom Data Challenge on the competition's website.

For More Information

Byron Spice | 412-268-9068 | bspice@cs.cmu.edu