ComBank Hackathon Challenge


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#combank #hackathon2024 #singlishgpt

ComBank Hackathon Challenge Journey
  • Start Registration

  • Submit Prototypes

  • Shortlist Prototypes

  • Submit Final Solutions

  • Announce Winners

All timings are as per (GMT +6:00) Almaty, Dhaka, Colombo
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About Us

Commercial Bank is the largest private sector bank in Sri Lanka
With over 100 years of long legacy and unparalleled growth, Commercial Bank stands as the largest private sector bank in Sri Lanka in terms of business volumes and assets. Having set a benchmark in Sri Lankan banking, we have established standards, created an identity, and forged an unsurpassable trend powered by state-of-the-art technology, and continue to lead the way.

Unleashing the Power of AI and GPT Models: Revolutionizing GPT Localization
Join us to redefine the future of AI, tackling personalized language challenges within GPT. This challenge focuses on developing country-specific GPT models, revolutionizing the GPT experience with language tailored to a specific country

Calling All Innovators: Who Can Join Us
We invite university undergraduates, MBA, MSc, and PhD candidates from around the world to participate in this challenge.

The ComBank Hackathon challenge, hosted by Commercial Bank PLC of Sri Lanka and powered by tech giants Google, Huawei and IBM is all about unleashing the power of AI and GPT Models to make AI more helpful for everyone.

Problem Statement

Sinhala is the main language spoken in Sri Lanka, favored by a large portion of the population as their mother tongue. Many Sri Lankans use a blend of Sinhala and English called "Singlish," where Sinhala words are written using English letters. While not officially acknowledged, Singlish is widely used as the primary written communication style in Sri Lanka, particularly in online chat platforms.

This challenge aims to develop a mini GPT model (less than or equal to 30B parameters) for a Singlish-language question-answering chatbot that processes information and provides precise answers from documents written in English.


Data Source Preparation:

  • Singlish lacks official recognition as a language, making it difficult to find direct sources or references online. Synthetic samples might be needed to effectively train the model.
  • To prepare the synthetic samples, you can utilize existing open-source GPT models

Model Development:

  • The mini GPT model needs to undergo training using Self-Supervised Learning (SSL), a crucial step for learning patterns and context, similar to the method used for training other language models.
  • You can train the mini GPT model directly, or you can use knowledge distillation techniques to train the mini GPT model from larger GPT models.
  • Once the downstream task is complete, the model should be able to answer customer queries in Singlish by referencing documents written in English.

Packaging into deliverables:

  • A REST API or Chat Interface for interacting with the model.
  • Access to the source code and data sources via a GitHub repository.
  • A video clip showcasing the model's performance.


Cash Rewards Await the Winners

US$10,000 Cash Reward awaiting for the Winning Team
The victorious team earns the coveted opportunity to bring their innovation to life within the Corporate framework.
US$5,000 Cash Reward!
For the dazzling 1st Runner-up Team
US$2,000 Cash Reward!

Bask in the glow of the 2nd Runner-up Team


  • If you are a university undergraduates, MBA, MSc, and PhD candidates, this is for you!
  • Gather a team of 4 members.
  • Worldwide participation: Open to students from around the globe..!

Media Centre

Check out this video and dive into the unveiling of the ComBank Hackathon Challenge! It comprehensively covers all the details you'll need. Don't miss out!


Am I eligible?

• We welcome all University university undergraduates, MBA, MSc, and PhD candidates. • Participation is encouraged as teams only and each team should consist of four members. • Applications are called students from around the world

What is the expected deliverable at the end of the ComBank Hackathon challenge?

• Teams are required to develop a trained mini GPT model in the Singlish language and submit their working prototype. • What is "Singlish" –Singlish Language is a colloquial form of language widely used in Sri Lanka. Many Sri Lankans utilize "Singlish," as a hybrid language where Sinhala words are written using English characters. Although not officially recognized, Singlish is the predominant written form of communication in Sri Lanka, especially in chat interfaces.

Can a team submit more than one GPT model?

One team can submit only one prototype

Can I participate in multiple teams?

One participation can represent in one team only

How do I register and submit my proposed solution(s)?

Refer to the section "How to Register" below.

What technology should be utilized during the hackathon to develop the prototype?

Teams have the option to choose one of our technical partners' solutions - Google Cloud, Huawei Cloud, and IBM Watson Studio - for developing the GPT model for the ComBank Hackathon. Alternatively, you can also opt to develop the prototype using your own APIs.

Can I use My own API to develop prototypes?

Yes, you can use your own API to develop prototypes

How do I use the cloud technology provided by technical partners during the ComBank Hackathon challenge to build a prototype?

To get started, interested teams can easily create a trial account on preferred Cloud partner. (Please click on the partner's logo for details). Upon registration, you'll receive following benefits from the selected partner: Google Cloud: $300 free credit IBM Watsonx: 30 days trial Huawei Cloud: 30 days trial

How will the winning prototypes be selected?

Prototypes will be reviewed and submissions will be shortlisted by our expert panel. The finalists will have to make a presentation (15 to 20 minutes) in front of the judges during the 4th week of July. The winners of the challenge will be judged by the panelists present on the demo day.

Who owns the code developed during the hackathon?

As the organizer of the ComBank Hackathon Challenge, Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC retains full ownership of any prototype built and submitted on the APIX Platform by participants. Technology partners and the hosting platform APIX will hold no ownership rights to your intellectual property (IP). Teams are prohibited from using the prototype for any commercial purposes.

How do I get technical support?

To get technical help you can write to


  • Interested teams must complete full registration and submit their interest before the registration deadline.
  • Early registration is encouraged. Participation in the hackathon is free of charge.
  • By registering and accepting the Terms and Conditions, participants grant Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC the right to use, distribute, and publicly display the submitted solutions for necessary publications.

How to Register For Hackathon


For ComBank Hackathon Challenge related queries, please reach out to

For technical queries during registration or proposal submission process, please reach out to