In hopes of accelerating its progress in the field of conversational AI, Amazon is hosting its first annual Alexa Prize competition, which offers a whopping $2.5 million in total prize money.
The focus of the competition is on creating a “socialbot” using the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK), meaning a bot that can converse coherently and intelligently with humans on “popular topics and news events.” It’s open globally to teams of full-time students enrolled in an accredited university (with a few exceptions).
The winning team will receive $500,000 USD, with an additional prize of $1 million going to the team’s university if their socialbot is able to converse intelligently with humans for 20 minutes.
Additionally, up to 10 teams of students will receive a $100,000 stipend, Alexa-enabled devices, free Amazon Web Services (AWS) and support from the ASK team.
Teams can submit between September 29th and October 28th at this link.