XPRIZE offers $20 Million for ‘Forbidden Energy’

Thanks to Dr. Bob for highlighting this video on his website. XPRIZE is a nonprofit founded by futurist Peter Diamandis which offers prizes to incentivize innovation. Below is a video clip from this year’s XPRIZE “Visioneering Workshop” at which the conferencees voted that “Forbidden Energy” should be what the prize should be for this year.

XPRIZE board member Barry Thompson explains that today there is an ‘inquisition of scientific mindsets’ that is holding back breakthroughs in science. He mentions that scientists consider that energy sources like cold fusion, zero-point energy are possible, but that in reality no one can investigate it in academia because of blacklisting and a code of silence surrounding these unpopular topics.

This year XPRIZE is offering $20 million to the first team that can produce ‘substantive energy generation’ from an ‘entirely new method’ twice in two weeks.

See the video below for more.

I’m pretty sure that the E-Cat would qualify for the criteria mentioned, but I don’t know if Industrial Heat will go after the prize — maybe someone should alert Andrea Rossi about it.

  • Bogdan Majkic

    I will give you more than two of those, how do I join in or register???

  • GreenWin

    In further review of this Global Learning X-Prize (there are others e.g. Disney’s “Big Hero X-Prize”) I get a better understanding of what is envisioned. In a word, AI. Dumping tablets for 5-7″ smart phone format and expanding Siri, Google Now – type AI has a far better chance of teaching students literacy. With AI able to recognize a learner and adapt to their learning habits, there is a chance of success in this endeavor. The Dev4X prototype I saw this morning paints a picture of the approach. Couple thoughts come immediately to mind:

    1) Motivation, motivation, motivation! Not all children are born with an interest in learning. Some are content to survive to young adulthood and migrate to safer environs. How to drive young impoverished minds to want to learn to read and write? The Dev4X Tutor requires reading literacy. Early learning, especially without human teachers, must be verbal-based and able to engage with zero literacy. Big challenge.

    2) AI in itself is fraught with nascent problems. First is limited dynamic range of teaching methods. When a student becomes frustrated (and they WILL) – without an empathetic teacher around to re-engage the student, there will be attrition. The Dev4X prototype relies on a network of other learners (children) to help each other. Some will excel at this, others will be disinterested. A key to such AI would be to quickly identify those with teaching aptitude and provide a reward system.

    3) While AI today has a minimum of communication skills – it will need to excel much further to handle the variety of learning difficulties had by the most disenfranchised of children. Understanding human speech and dialect is a HUGE challenge IMO. And tracking students via databases, networks and student tutors raises issues of hacking, especially in volatile habitats (Sudan e.g.). Could we be giving warring tribes and despots a recruitment/control tool?

    4) Finally, do we risk raising a population of child automatons? Recall what motivated you as a student. Usually one or two teachers who got you excited to learn. Can we recreate these skills in this early iteration of AI?? Will not AI have to evolve several generations to reach this level of empathetic communication skill??

    Just thinkin’…

    • AI psychology start to be faily good


      my impression, seeing how animal and uncommon intelligence people can understand things that the mass don’t see, is that much of our social capacities prevent us to see somethings that a good statistician, an AI, a dog, can see immediately.

      IA psychology for me is an easy job. Add to that community effect driven, stabilized by those AI, and all will work well… Human are made to teach and learn, and we just have to avoid bad behavior (exclusion, clan, harassment, sect) that you can understand with statistic/bigdata/IA…

      It remind me of Semmelweis… he painfully found that there was huge difference in mortality between two hospital, and that hand cleaning was important…
      the illiterate mother and the nuns were independently aware of that and using of discrete strategy to get around doctors consensus, a theory based groupthink.

      • GreenWin

        Thanks for the link Alain. My view at present is AI has a better chance of working with literate, communicative people. The prospect of teaching illiterate kids how to read, write and do math using AI alone, is a far greater challenge. But the Forbes article is encouraging that the pace of AI development is increasing. From a tech point of view, this X-Prize will need some vastly increased compute capacity – since AI like Ellie utilize the big iron of mainframe computers. It’d be fun to compete for this, if a strong team and funding was available.

  • It seems the next XPRIZE has been announced
    The foundation decided for a competition where software developers makes open source applications for tablets that can help unprivileged kids to get a better education.

    • GreenWin

      Great! The Global Learning Project has challenged a field already busy with innovation.


      The UN One Laptop Per Child under the Borgen Project has created 4
      iterations of the XO laptop; the present one XO-4 specs were just
      announced yesterday. http://wiki.laptop.org/go/The_OLPC_Wiki

      But who’s going to pay for the batteries? Who’s going to manufacture and distribute generators to villages to recharge those batteries? Finally, most educators seem to agree that online (self-paced) learning has low success rates. Small student groups with strong instructors have highest success rates. High tech alone is like giving your cat a can opener and a case of sardines. TEACHING is important too!

  • DB

    GreenWin – here is your chance

    • GreenWin

      It looks like X-Prize brand may be confusing the marketplace. They announced in May “This Year’s Winner and Finalists” – http://learning.xprize.org/ideas/visioneering

      However, kudos to Disney – it should spark lots of ideas and enthusiasm amongst kids of all ages. Is that fame knocking on your door Doctor?? Being a former Imagineer, and an old soul, would likely disqualify GreenWin from competition but Who wouldn’t want to walk the red carpet at a Disney premier in Hwood??? 🙂

  • Allan Shura

    The team would have to be already invested as a going concern or a team would have to have a strong candidate hypothesis an spend a year on that. A significant risk on the latter only reduced by the certainty of the outcome.

  • hempenearth

    Dr Eric Schmidt is in the X Prize “vision circle” and he is also a friend of Bill McDonough. So it is highly likely Darden knows of the prize.

  • Omega Z

    At the End, The guy does a selfie.
    Later crops himself from the pic.
    Hands it to a mysterious character in black & says,
    That’s Him. He needs to disappear.

  • Doug Cutler

    The prize you reference was for a means to determine longitude at sea by any means – not necessarily by clock mechanism. The British scientific establishment were convinced they could do it by charting the regular cycles of the moons of Jupiter with advanced telescopes of the day. They were very upset when Harrison, an unknown outsider artisan devised a highly accurate time piece. It was many, many years after his initial triumph before the Royal Society conceded and awarded Harrison his honor and his prize money.

    Quite possibly some telling parallels to present day regarding establishment vs outsider mentality.

  • Ophelia Rump

    Oh My! That would be funny. How excellent it would be if a customer were the first to claim the prize, that would be a hoot!

    Pay 1.5 Million and collect 20, that would be quite a rebate.

  • ecatworld

    I made a post about this XPRIZE development on the JONP and it got spammed.

    • Ophelia Rump
      • bachcole

        It sure is easy to get the British to laugh. Or is that a laugh track trying to get the British to laugh. You know, the placebo effect.

        Given the up coming Scottish vote for independence, I bet the British aren’t laughing now. (:->)

        • Ophelia Rump

          From what I have read, it will be a financial disaster if they do not have their own currency, which this referendum specifically excludes.
          Better they should kill this one and do it right.

          • pg

            they can still us the pound, no law forbids that

            • Ophelia Rump

              A quote from the article by Economist Paul Krugman, a man known for brutal honesty.

              “And an independent Scotland using Britain’s pound would be in even worse shape than euro countries, which at least have some say in how the European Central Bank is run.”

              • pg

                Monaco uses the euro, they don’t seem to be suffering from it.

              • georgehants

                Ophelia, there is only the Great British Pound, everything else is just monopoly money, ha

        • Alan DeAngelis

          Scotland could learn from Iceland.

          • Alan DeAngelis

            Iceland President: Let Banks Go Bankrupt

            • Omega Z

              Although arguments to let banks fail sounds good on the surface, At present, Letting banks fail is not a good idea. World economics would collapse. It only worked for Iceland because their of smaller scale with much smaller banks & had the rest of the world to fall back on.

              If you want the option of letting banks fail when they make stupid business decisions, you 1st need to make sure they are not to big to fail. Of course you still bail them out in a sense by insuring the depositors, but most of that is covered by “FDIC” in the states.
              However, to big to fail means depositors insurance is not big enough to cover those loses if even 1 of the big banks flop.

              Sad part is that nothing has changed in the U.S.. They are still or have become to big to fail again. The Government has learned nothing. In fact, They encourage it.

              “Austerity”. Take a bad situation & make it worse. Austerity is something better practiced when things are exceptionally good thus preventing the situation(Bubbles that collapse) in where they practice it now. The world tends to do things backwards.

              • Alan DeAngelis

                This cartoon helps a simpleton like me understand the financial world.


                • Omega Z

                  A little twisted, conspiracy propaganda.
                  Reality is more interesting & more complex.
                  And probably just as devious.

                • pelgrim108

                  “It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand
                  our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe
                  there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”

                  Henry Ford

              • Allan Shura

                Then the fix is perpetual without a shake up on the players for failure. As it is few players at the executive level are personally affected or much changed. Too big to fail does run the risk of delaying the correction by stretching out the inevitable. Relief in the form of stability can then only be achieved with a narrower range of options that stick to the script.

        • georgehants
          • Omega Z

            Laughter is dangerous.
            Many times I’ve laughed my a$$ of. Thank God for super glue. And on several occasions I’ve nearly laughed myself to death.
            Bad stuff that laughter.

            • georgehants

              Omega, Ha, everything in moderation.

    • LuFong

      Don’t feel bad. All my posts on the JONP get spammed!

  • Veblin

    This is confusing. The headline and part of the story make it sound like Forbidden Energy has already been chosen as an XPRIXE.

    Forbidden Energy won the Visioneering Workshop in May 2014. It was reported at that time in the Always Open Thread.

    Winning the Visioneering Contest does not automatically qualify a topic for the XPRIZE competition. The sponsors and the board of the XPRIZE foundation (?) will take the final decision for the XPRIZE – Which is yet to be announced.

    • Ophelia Rump

      Thornstein, That is very disappointing news. Thank you for the education.

      • Veblin

        Thorstein Veblen? Yes I had a political science professor who mentioned him almost every lecture. When I picked a handle many years ago I spelled the last name wrong but just kept it. Kind of like how you spelled the first name wrong now.

        • Ophelia Rump

          I’m glad you got the reference. Sorry to hear I misspelled the first name, I was winging it.

          • Omega Z

            Some call that Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia.
            I call it Old Timers disease.

            When you are young, you have a bookshelf in you brain. You know little thus you have but a few books of knowledge to look through.
            As you get older & wiser, you add more & more books & more & more shelves. Eventually adding many different floors & departments.

            Obviously, this leads to slow access to our knowledge base & many times not being able to locate it at all. Our brain lacks a Dewey Decimal System.

            Old Timers Disease Definition: Your Brain is getting Full.
            Or maybe I’m just full of it.

            That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 🙂

  • bachcole

    Interesting. We got three for the price of one. Not only did we get a possible prize for Rossi and/or I.H., but Barry Thompson also did a very nice dig at mainstream science AND he mentioned cold fusion.

    Who needs the Nobel Prize when you can wallow in self-pity for not having gotten it with $20 million extra in your bank account. (:->)

    Notice that the name of the prize is “Forbidden Energy”. Not “New Energy” nor “Exotic Energy” nor “New Frontiers in Energy” nor “Energy Explorations”, etc, etc. And Thompson specifically mentions cold fusion and the intransigence of the scientific community (Is georgehants on the steering committee? Just kidding. Really.). What I see with “Forbidden Energy” is that when (not if) the positive third party results come out, this prize with be given to Rossi et. al. with lots of fanfare and a big press conference. Someone giving away $20 million would generate a big press conference and lots of attention. This will seal the deal.

    I am speculating that it is possible that some of the $20 million came from people who could not get in on the investing with Rossi but who really just want to push the technology. And even if the technology is obviously true for anyone who is following the story closely, it is not obviously true for people who have lives; so the $20 million is sitting there, coiled, ready to strike at the incredulity of the news media.

    For me, the data point line up to form a very clear picture. It may not be the coming third party report. It may not be the factory making a profit off of the E-Cat. It will probably be this prize that breaks down the damn dam of incredulity.

  • GreenWin

    I am regularly perplexed by exactly WHO has forbade energy? And why?

    • georgehants

      GreenWin I don’t think you have forgotten about the holy priests who tell qualified scientists what they are allowed to think.
      What is amazing is that 99% of them after a science education, are so unable to think for themselves that Cold Fusion and many other important subjects are still denied and debunked by these comedians.

      • Omega Z

        You repeatedly point out, Science is incompetent, Science is incompetent

        I would remind you George that Science is very Competent.
        Just look at how well they have suppressed certain knowledge for so long.

        • georgehants

          Omega, well I cannot argue with that, if only that was the point of it all they would be masters.

          • it is not really new..

            in Excess Heat ( 2nd edition in 2001) Beaudette explains that DoE support the term LENR, but anything looking like cold fusion is rejected. this mean any heat production.

            the only thigs they accept is transmutation or semi-hot fusion…

            teh recent IDEAS proposal http://www.lenr-forum.com/old-forum/showthread.php?2548-DoE-Arpa-E-accept-LENR-for-their-IDEAS-funding

            interested George Miley who tried to apply with his LENr reactor. DoE reject the idea. This is not LENR they say.

            so they accept LENR, provided it is not LENR.

  • gdaigle

    The first to create substantive energy production? If the new paper counts as evidence, it might be one of the most quickly awarded of the XPrize offerings.

    • Ophelia Rump

      The timing is curious, I find it hard to believe that they are uninformed.
      Perhaps this is their way of getting a piece of the action which they know is coming.
      Or maybe this is more of a promotion than a contest?

      • bachcole

        They would have to high on an illegal substance to be uninformed.

  • Aside from the $, it would be a pretty good strategy to introduce the technology to the world… essentially blessed by a 3rd party doing their own verification before releasing the prize.

    That would short-circuit much of the nay-saying that would accompany a small or medium size announcement.

  • Joel C.

    Now, the question is – Will Rossi and IH showcase their E-Cat technology for this XPRIZE?

    • Fortyniner

      Possibly, if the timing would suit their rollout plans. Otherwise probably not I think.

      • Ophelia Rump

        I bet they are discussing the subject at IH already.

    • Ophelia Rump

      I thought the question was: Who are the target candidates this was intended to promote?