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The SimBot Challenge will have two phases: A public benchmark phase, and a live interactions phase.

Participants in both phases will build machine-learning models for natural language understanding, human-robot interaction, and robotic task completion. Artificial intelligence challenges addressed in the competition relate to reasoning on language and scene understanding, learning from demonstration, self-learning, and task completion utilizing natural language.

Our Alexa Prize Socialbot Challenge introduced a new means by which industry and academia could collaborate to advance the science behind conversational AI,” said Prem Natarajan, Alexa AI vice president of Natural Understanding. “Just as the Socialbot Challenge broke new ground in enabling university students to advance the state of conversational AI by leveraging real-time feedback from millions of Alexa customers, the SimBot Challenge will enable university students to advance multimodal human-robot interaction and teachable AI much faster than previously possible. We are excited to see how the participating teams will help evolve this area of study from science fiction to science fact.”

Unlike previous Alexa Prize competitions, the public benchmark challenge phase will be open not only to teams of university students but also to individuals in academia and industry interested in advancing the science of AI and engaging top researchers from around the globe. The SimBot Challenge public benchmark phase is similar to existing competitions on language-guided visual navigation and task completion. Registration for the public benchmark phase will open in late November, 2021.

The live interactions challenge phase will comprise university teams who will compete to develop the bot that best responds to customer commands and multimodal sensor inputs from within the virtual world. Similar to previous SocialBot challenges, customers will participate in this phase; Alexa customers using Amazon Echo Show devices will play the game on their devices, seeking to solve mysteries and progressively harder tasks within a virtual environment.

University teams selected for the Alexa Prize SimBot Challenge will participate in both the public benchmark and live interaction phases and will receive a research grant, Alexa-enabled devices, free Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing services to support their research and development efforts, as well as other resources, and Alexa team support. The winning team will receive a $500,000 prize, while the second- and third-place teams will receive prizes of $100,000 and $50,000, respectively.

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Alexa Prize SimBot Challenge