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Student Team Wins Over Judges With AI-powered Chatbots

University of Maryland Wins Fall 2022 Interactive Case Competition: Emerging Tech Challenge


MAMARONECK, NY — A student team representing the University of Maryland has won the Fall 2022 Interactive Case Competition: Emerging Tech Challenge, a student case study competition. A Judges Panel of four top media & tech executives awarded Team Maryland a first-place prize of $5,000 during a live online event November 17.


The team, consisting of four University of Maryland students and one Johns Hopkins University student, presented plans and a prototype of Web-based chatbots that utilize artificial intelligence (AI) to detect a user’s sentiment and mood. Personalized chatbots could be used by companies to provide more accurate responses to online queries and improve their customer service, the team said.


"We are very grateful to have the opportunity to meet each of the judges and we are proud to win First Place,” said Ryan Phillip, Captain of Team Maryland. “This competition has left us with motivation and many lessons from our mentors.”


The competition began in September with four student teams of graduate and undergraduate students tasked to develop product plans utilizing emerging technologies, including 5G wireless, 10G broadband, AI, and the Metaverse. Throughout the competitions, hosted twice annually by media & tech educator Craig Leddy, President of Interactive TV Works, Inc., students receive support through educational webinars and a Coaches Council of executive mentors.


“I am very impressed with Team Maryland,” said one judge, Yvette Kanouff, Partner at JC2 Ventures and Chair of Cable TV Pioneers. “The five-person team did a great job of laying out the problem with customer service today and offering a potential solution, partnerships and business model. Congratulations to all the wonderful and entrepreneurial students!”

A New York University (NYU) team placed second and won the Audience Choice Award by presenting a plan to utilize 5G and sensors to improve automobile traffic flow and reduce air pollution. A Pace University team placed third by proposing augmented reality glasses to aid healthcare professionals with eldercare.


“The students offered fresh ideas and perspectives about how emerging technologies can enrich our lives,” said Leddy, who founded the competition program 11 years ago. “In turn, the students have become attractive, industry-educated candidates for internships and jobs.”


In addition to Kanouff, the judges included: Phil McKinney, President & CEO, CableLabs; David Don, Senior VP, Public Policy, Comcast Corporation; and Stephen Kramer, Senior VP, Operations, Altice USA.


Team Maryland members included: Ryan Phillip, UMD A. James Clark School of Engineering (Class of 2024); Zavian Dorah, UMD Robert H. Smith School of Business (2023); Gene Ni, UMD College of Computer, Mathematical, & Natural Sciences (2025); Rafsun Mohammad, UMD Clark School of Engineering (2024); and Joey Chan, Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering (2023).


The Interactive Case Competition program is underwritten by sponsors including: Spectrum (Charter Communications), Comcast NBCU & Comcast Technology Solutions, Altice USA, Breezeline, Mediacom Communications, NCTA - The Internet & Television Association, Canoe Ventures, CableLabs, Power & Tel, Spectrum Enterprise and The Cable Center. Supporting Organizations include: C2HR, National Content & Technology Cooperative (NCTC), Cable TV Pioneers, Future Now Media Foundation, and the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM).


Captain of Team Maryland, presenting at Fall 2022 Interactive Case Competition: Emerging Tech Challenge.
Captain of Team Maryland, presenting at Fall 2022 Interactive Case Competition

In the picture: Ryan Phillip, Captain of Team Maryland, presents the team’s plan during the Fall 2022 Interactive Case Competition: Emerging Tech Challenge.



Judges for the Fall 2022 Interactive Case Competition: Emerging Tech Challenge with host Craig Leddy
Judges for the Fall 2022 Interactive Case Competition: Emerging Tech Challenge with host Craig Leddy

In the picture: Judges for the Fall 2022 Interactive Case Competition: Emerging Tech Challenge with host Craig Leddy (from top left): Phil McKinney, CableLabs; Yvette Kanouff, JC2 Ventures; Stephen Kramer, Altice USA; and David Don, Comcast Corporation

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