You’re a 5 minute application away from $2.5K

Money for bots: The AI Grant wants to fund your cutting edge AI research

Jane Elizabeth
AI Grant
© Shutterstock / JoeBakal

Are you a mad scientist coding AI in your spare time? Bankrolling backyard AI enthusiasts, the AI Grant is calling for submissions for its latest round of funding! Aimed at the DIY researchers and hobbyists, this no-strings-attached grant comes with hours of cloud credits and a dream to advance artificial intelligence.

Getting your visionary artificial intelligence project off the drawing board and into reality is always hard. We get it, sometimes you don’t get that NSF funding. But Nat Friedman and Daniel Gross are here to change all that with the AI Grant.

The AI Grant is a non-profit, distributed AI research lab with partners like CRV, Google Cloud Platform, Floodgate, CloudFlower, and more. Its goal is to bring AI research into the public away from the traditional academic/private enterprise silos for anyone interested in advancing AI and benefiting humanity. (So, no Skynet research.)  This helps build the profiles of non-traditional machine learning engineers.

Currently, most AI research funding is either in academia or aimed at tech startups. There’s not a lot of room in the VC world for hobbyists and DIYers coding away in their spare time. The AI Grant is aimed at that sweet spot. However, anyone can apply and anyone can win, from grad students to Google employees.

SEE MORE: Top 5 open-source tools for machine learning

The AI Grant

So, what are the rules of this funding? It’s simple: fill out a 5 minute application before August 25th.  Then, the folks over at AI Grant will select the finalists and the fellows. Funding is sent via paypal almost instantaneously!

Winners get:

  • $2,500 in cash, up-front.
  • Access to the AI Grant network.
  • $20,000 in Google Compute Engine credits.
  • 250 Tesla K80 GPU hours from FloydHub.
  • 50% off first $15k in Scale API spend.
  • $5,000 in CrowdFlower data labeling credits.

Sounds pretty sweet. What do they mean by AI, anyways? Well, it turns out they’re fairly open-minded.  Anything that “feels like AI”:

  • 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

So, what are you waiting for? The applications close on August 25, so hurry on over to AI Grant and throw your name in the ring. Good luck!


Jane Elizabeth
Jane Elizabeth is an assistant editor for

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