Spot the Mask Challenge by #ZindiWeekendz
$300 USD
Can you predict whether a person in an image is wearing a face mask? #masks4all
403 data scientists enrolled, 160 on the leaderboard
SafetyHealthComputer VisionUnstructuredImageSDG3
17 April—19 April
60 hours

Face masks have become a common public sight in the last few months. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently advised the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Wearing masks is broadly recognised as critical to reducing community transmission and limiting touching of the face.

In a time of concerns about slowing the transmission of COVID-19, increased surveillance combined with AI solutions can improve monitoring and reduce the human effort needed to limit the spread of this disease. The objective of this challenge is to create an image classification machine learning model to accurately predict the likelihood that an image contains a person wearing a face mask, or not. The total dataset contains 1,800+ images of people either wearing masks or not.

Your machine learning solution will help policymakers, law enforcement, hospitals, and even commercial businesses ensure that masks are being worn appropriately in public. These solutions can help in the battle to reduce community transmission of COVID-19.

About #ZindiWeekendz

The Zindi community is joining the fight against COVID-19! #ZindiWeekendz are virtual weekend hackathons hosted by Zindi. This series of #ZindiWeekendz throughout April and May 2020 focuses specifically on COVID-19.

In a time of lockdowns, remote work, and general uncertainty, #ZindiWeekendz offer data scientists the opportunity to continue to develop their skills while contributing to practical, open-source AI solutions to help in the battle against COVID-19.

All winning solutions will be shared as a public good on GitHub. We are committed to supporting partners implement these solutions and encourage anyone who is interested to reach out to us at

About Microsoft (

This hackathon is sponsored by Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft). Microsoft enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Microsoft has operated in Africa for more than 25 years. In that time they have built strong partnerships across the continent, helped bridge gaps in infrastructure, connectivity and capability, and are working to empower countries in Africa to digitally transform while creating sustained societal impact. Earlier this year, Microsoft opened Africa’s first hyper-scale data centers in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa. Most recently, the company also announced the opening of two Africa Development Centers in Nairobi and Lagos, where world-class African talent can create innovative solutions for local and global impact.