FDU Launches First-of-its-Kind Global AI Contest for Teens

The Global GPT Challenge encourages teenagers to learn both AI and entrepreneurial skills.

Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) is hosting an artificial intelligence Global GPT Challenge contest in which teenagers ages 13 to 18 can submit custom Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) demonstrations toward a first-place $2,000 prize, second-place $1,500 prize and third-place $500 prize, in addition to earning partial FDU scholarships. Winners outside of New Jersey will solely be awarded partial FDU scholarships.

The contest’s topic is cutting-edge: GPTs are sophisticated artificial intelligence forms with the ability to assimilate, analyze, and create text. Launched in November 2022, OpenAI’s ChatGPT is perhaps the best-known and most widely publicized GPT, although ChatGPT and its competitors may, in effect, not be trained on specific topics, which is why custom GPTs can have special utility.

“We are excited to launch the world’s first custom GPT/bot contest for teens,” says James Almeida, dean of Silberman College of Business at FDU. “This builds on our longstanding business idea competition and offers a novel way for students to learn a new technology, generative AI, and at the same time learn entrepreneurial skills. We’re looking forward to generating enormous amounts of creativity across the globe.”

Overall examples of custom GPTs abound: Ezra Perelman, a senior at Voyager’s Community School in Brookdale, created a custom GPT for James Barrood, the founder and CEO of Innovation+, a global community of more than 10,000 entrepreneurs and innovators. Barrood also serves as “an advisor to startups, growth companies and higher education institutions [including FDU] as well as TechAid, Tech Council Venture Fund and JumpStart Angel Network.”

Barrood’s GPT is trained on and offers insights into his two books, his countless articles and interviews, as well as more than 120 of Barrood’s podcasts.

Seeds of Innovation

Speaking about the Global GPT Challenge contest, Barrood says, “It’s a subtle way of getting [students] to think about how to create a product or service that people want.”

He adds, “What we’re trying to do is get young people up to speed and be at the forefront of this leading curve [AI] technology. It’s here, and if you don’t know how to use it, you’re going to be negatively affected by it.”

Barrood is no stranger to innovation. He once worked full-time for FDU and operated a statewide teen business idea competition as well as student entrepreneur competitions for teenagers and college students alike.

The Global GPT Challenge germinated from his conversations with FDU, Barrood says. He emphasizes: “I just thought this would be a lot of fun. Let’s see what we can do; let’s see how we can galvanize young people to learn about GPT and create things, and also think about an entrepreneurial mindset.”

The Contest

The Global GPT Challenge contest itself is straightforward: Teenagers can create a custom GPT on any platform and optionally publish their GPT on OpenAI or other platforms. They must submit a two-minute video pitch which features their demo and details: What the GPT solves for; who are its customers; who are the direct and indirect competitors; and how it will earn money and/or provide social impact.

Teens worldwide can present in their own languages, although FDU requires that a written English-language transcript of their presentations be included in their submissions. While FDU recommends that teens collaborate with someone who has access to OpenAI, Microsoft CoPilot Studio, Poe (Quora) or Zapier, FDU notes that there are several no-cost platforms that can be utilized as well. Participants will receive 1 million free OpenAI token credits.

With a contest submission deadline of Feb. 17, winners will be notified in March or April. FDU will provide a certificate of participation and students can additionally list it on their resumes.

FDU Global GPT Challenge strategic partners include: Microsoft 365 Copilot; AI for Good; Future World Alliance; and Create Labs Ventures.

To take part in the contest, please visit:

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