2022 Mant Prize

Posted Monday, April 4, 2022.

The 2022 Mant Prize is a monetary prize to encourage creative innovation in the exploration of reflexive and introspective interpreters and processes in the context of building intelligent, adaptive, flexible systems. One great inspiration for the prize is the work from the late 1970s and early 1980s by Jon Doyle and others at the MIT Artificial Intelligence lab.

(Please direct your close attention to the bolded words in the sentence above--an ideal entry should combine all these elements!)

I (William E. Byrd) announced the Mant Prize--and the associated QuIPS Prize--at the end of my 2021 Strange Loop keynote, Strange Dreams of Stranger Loops.

The Mant Prize is $1,000 USD, to be paid in a manner convenient and/or hilarious for both me and the recipient. I will announce the winner at the 2022 Strange Loop conference, which will be held Sept 22--Sept 24, 2022.

The deadline for entries is August 22nd, 2022, exactly one month before Strange Loop 2022.

Please email your entry to me at webyrd@gmail.com with the subject heading Mant Prize. You may submit a link to a public code repository, a public video, a public website or interactive tutorial, etc. However, whatever you submit (1) must be public and (2) must not have been publicly shared before. No recycling old blog posts, talks, or published papers! (After all, the point of the prize is to encourage playful innovation!)

Anyone may enter. I will gracefully refrain from entering myself, however. If you win and happen to be a 5-year-old Cat living in another Country/Planet/Galaxy/Universe who wants to remain anonymous, or whatever, getting the prize money to you may prove difficult. I'll do my best to work out something, though. Of course, it would be more fun to hand you the prize in person at Strange Loop 2022, modulo pandemics. We'll try to work that out as well.

The winner will be decided solely by me! If none of the entries Spark Joy in me, shock me, give me Nerd Chills or a sense of playful delight, or produce some other Visceral Reaction, or if all of the entries are Boring or Mundane, no prize will be rewarded, and I will instead blow the money on unbelievably delicious Japanese candy to console myself! However, I put a premium on experiencing Nerd Chills, and would much prefer to give away the prize, so please submit an entry of Face-Melting awesomeness and fun.

As I described in my Strange Loop keynote, I am especially interested in entries inspired by the reflexive interpreter work by Jon Doyle, or other introspective systems that can reason about themselves, and about other code or processes, for greater flexibility, and to avoid getting "stuck" doing the same thing, the same way.

Here are a few related resources that you might find helpful in understanding what the Mant Prize is about, and might also stimulate your brain: