With only days left until the December 4 Shredder Challenge deadline, DARPA is still asking the sharpest-minded computer scientists and simply the curious if anyone among them has the skills to reconstruct shredded documents and solve DARPA’s five puzzles? There are five separate puzzles in which the number of documents, the document subject matter and the method of shredding are varied and present increasing difficulty.
With a tantalizing payoff of up to $50,000, DARPA says that the final and toughest #5 puzzle remains unsolved. Translation: No winners yet, and the clock is ticking. DARPA finds that the lack of a winner cannot be passed off as lack of interest. The contest participation has actually been high, with over 8,200 registrations for participation and 72,000 puzzle downloads.
“No team has yet been able to put together the right combination of automation, collaboration and persistence to piece together the fifth shredded document,” according to DARPA. Over 50 teams managed to solve at least one puzzle, and one team completely solved the fourth puzzle. The first two problems contained 224 and 373 pieces to solve and puzzle 3 had teams sorting and reassembling 1,115 pieces of paper. A tougher puzzle 4 had 2,340 pieces and puzzle 5 has 6,068 pieces