Amazon announced the Alexa Prize, a challenge to create a bot able to have an engaging 20-minute conversation with humans.
The Alexa Prize is an annual competition for university students dedicated to accelerating the field of conversational AI. The inaugural competition is focused on creating a socialbot, a new Alexa skill that converses coherently and engagingly with humans on popular topics and news events.
Amazon will award the winning team $500,000. Additionally, a prize of $1 million will be awarded to the winning team’s university if their socialbot achieves the grand challenge of conversing coherently and engagingly with humans on popular topics for 20 minutes.
Up to ten teams of students will be selected to receive a $100,000 stipend, Alexa-enabled devices, free AWS services to support their development efforts, and support from the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) team. Additional teams not eligible for funding may be invited to participate. Students will build their socialbots using the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK), which tens of thousands of developers are already using to build new skills on Alexa. Participants will have access to conversational topic categories and digital content from multiple sources.
Teams can submit their applications between September 29 and October 28, 2016, here.