The Socialbot Challenge "Alexa, let’s chat about the Mars Mission."

Teams of university students will develop a socialbot, an Alexa skill that converses with users on popular societal topics. Participating teams will advance the state-of-the-art in natural language understanding, dialogue and context modeling, and human-like language generation and expression.

Teams will build their bots using the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK), which will enable them to receive continuous feedback on their inventions in real-world settings. The grand challenge for the Alexa Prize is to create a socialbot that can engage in a fun, high quality conversation on popular societal topics for 20-minutes and achieve an average rating of at least 4.0/5.0.

Learn more about the 2017 and 2018 teams, including their contributions to the Alexa Prize Proceedings.

More about the Alexa Prize

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 competition is focused on creating a socialbot, an Alexa skill that converses coherently and engagingly with humans on popular topics and news events. Participating teams will advance several areas of conversational AI including knowledge acquisition, natural language understanding, natural language generation, context modeling, commonsense reasoning and dialog planning. Through the innovative work of students, Alexa customers will have novel, engaging conversations. And, the immediate feedback from Alexa customers will help students improve their algorithms much faster than previously possible.

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Introducing the Alexa Prize

"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."

- Jeff Bezos
Founder & CEO, Amazon

Learn more about the 2018 finalists’ journey


Key Dates

  • March 4, 2019

    Application period opens

  • May 14, 2019

    Application period closes

  • June 2019

    Competing teams announced

  • Summer 2019

    Team onboarded

  • September 2019

    Competition begins

  • May 2020

    Finals

  • June 2020

    Winners announced