30 September 2016, USA :
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.
“I believe the dreamers come first, and the builders come second. A lot of the dreamers are science fiction authors, they’re artists…They invent these ideas, and they get catalogued as impossible. And we find out later, well, maybe it’s not impossible. Things that seem impossible if we work them the right way for long enough, sometimes for multiple generations, they become possible,” said Jeff Bezos, Founder & CEO, Amazon
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.
The way humans interact with machines is at an inflection point and conversational artificial intelligence (AI) is at the center of the transformation. Alexa, the voice service that powers Amazon Echo, enables customers to interact with the world around them in a more intuitive way using only their voice.
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. Teams can submit their applications between September 29 and October 28, 2016 here. Source- Amazon Alexa