The Alexa Prize Summit

Alexa Prize teams came to the Amazon Headquarters in Seattle, WA April 19-21, 2017 for the Alexa Prize Summit. During the Summit, the teams worked with Alexa leadership, subject matter experts, and technical thought leaders to learn, improve their socialbots, and build a community dedicated to conversational AI.

Summit Photos

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Welcome Reception Timelapse

Timelapse of the Alexa Prize Summit opening reception

The Summit activities took place over three days and included a keynote featuring Mike George (VP of Echo, Alexa, and Appstore), Rohit Prasad (VP and Head Scientist of Alexa), and Paul Viola (VP and Head Scientist of Prime Air). Teams also participated in 14 breakout sessions, team consultations, a lunch with special guest Celeste Headlee (host of NPR’s “On Second Thought,” and TED talk Ten Ways to Have Better Conversations), and a private screening of Amazon Studio’s The Lost City of Z at the historic Moore Theatre.

Event Agenda

Wednesday April 19th

Lunch with Alexa Science
  • Private Socialbot Consultations
  • Alexa Product Roundtables
Amazon Innovation Showcase
Alexa Prize Summit Welcome Reception

Thursday April 20th

  • Summit Breakfast
  • Alexa Prize Summit Keynote
    Speakers:
    • Mike George - VP, Echo, Alexa, & Appstore
    • Rohit Prasad - VP & Head Scientist, Alexa
    • Paul Viola - VP Science, Prime Air
    • Breakout Session A: Say What? ASR, NLU and Alexa Speaker: Spyros Matsoukas - Sr. Principal Scientist, Alexa
    • Breakout Session B: Deep Learning on AWS Speaker: Alex Smola - Director, Machine Learning, AWS
  • Lunch with Guest Speaker – Celeste Headlee, NPR
    • Breakout Session A: Making Great Conversations Speakers: Farah Houston - Sr. Mgr, Alexa Personality; Celeste Headlee
    • Breakout Session B: Neural Networks: The New Way to Drive Movie Recommendations for Amazon Instant Video Speaker: Oleg Rybakov - Sr. Applied Scientist, Alexa
    • Breakout Session A: Making Great Conversations (Repeat) Speakers: Farah Houston - Sr. Mgr, Alexa Personality; Celeste Headlee
    • Breakout Session B: Deep Learning Meets Reinforcement Learning for Moviebot Speaker: Alborz Geramifard - Manager, Machine Learning, Alexa
    • Breakout Session A: Say What? ASR, NLU and Alexa (Repeat) Speaker: Spyros Matsoukas - Sr. Principal Scientist, Alexa
    • Breakout Session B: Deep Learning Meets Reinforcement Learning for Moviebot (Repeat) Speaker: Alborz Geramifard - Manager, Machine Learning, Alexa
  • Alexa Prize Summit Celebration

Friday April 21st

  • Breakfast with Moviebot
    • Breakout Session A: Voice Design Tips for Skills Speaker: Philip Hunter - UX Design Manager, ASK Tech
    • Breakout Session B: Neural Networks: The New Way to Drive Movie Recommendations for Amazon Instant Video (Repeat) Speaker: Oleg Rybakov - Sr. Applied Scientist, Alexa
    • Breakout Session A: Best Practices for Promoting Your Team & the Alexa Prize - Panel Speakers: Jeff Barr - Director, AWS Evangelism; Andy Beatman - Manager, Digital Marketing, ASK Business; Kaitlin Simpson – Manager, Alexa Skills Marketing; Amanda Wartick - Marketing Manager, Alexa Prize
    • Breakout Session B: Feedback Reporting – What You Can Expect and What You Should Be Looking For Speaker: Arnie Lund - Sr. Manager, User Research, Alexa
    • Breakout Session A: Life After the Alexa Prize – Panel Speakers: Ryan Bosco - Recruiter, Graduate Research; Brian Adams - Sr Program Mgr Alexa Fund; Paul Zimmerman - Principal BDM, VC Bus Dev, AWS
    • Breakout Session B: Alexa, What’s the Score? Speaker: Jason Semine - Sr. Product Manager, Alexa Domains
  • Alexa Prize Summit Closing Session & Lunch
    • Scheduled Private Meetings
    • Open Office Hours
    • Post-Summit Activities

Event Speakers

Keynote Speakers

  • Mike George

    Mike George

    VP, Echo, Alexa, & Appstore

    Alexa Prize Summit Keynote

  • Rohit Prasad

    Rohit Prasad

    VP & Head Scientist, Alexa

    Alexa Prize Summit Keynote

  • Paul Viola

    Paul Viola

    VP Science, Prime Air

    Alexa Prize Summit Keynote

Summit Speakers

  • Brian Adams

    Brian Adams

    Sr. Program Mgr, Alexa Fund

    Session: Life After the Alexa Prize – Panel

  • Jeff Barr

    Jeff Barr

    Director, AWS Evangelism

    Session: Best Practices for Promoting Your Team & the Alexa Prize - Panel

  • Andy Beatman

    Andy Beatman

    Manager, Digital Marketing, ASK Business

    Session: Best Practices for Promoting Your Team & the Alexa Prize - Panel

  • Ryan Boscow

    Ryan Boscow

    Recruiter, Graduate Research

    Session: Life After the Alexa Prize – Panel

  • Alborz Geramifard

    Alborz Geramifard

    Manager, Machine Learning, Alexa

    Session: Deep Learning Meets Reinforcement Learning for Moviebot

  • Farah Houston

    Farah Houston

    Sr. Mgr, Alexa Personality

    Session: Making Great Conversations

  • Philip Hunter

    Philip Hunter

    UX Design Manager, ASK Tech

    Session: Voice Design Tips for Skills

  • Arnie Lund

    Arnie Lund

    Sr. Manager, User Research, Alexa

    Session: Feedback Reporting – What You Can Expect and What You Should Be Looking For

  • Spyros Matsoukas

    Spyros Matsoukas

    Sr. Principal Scientist, Alexa

    Session: Say What? ASR, NLU and Alexa

  • Oleg Rybakov

    Oleg Rybakov

    Sr. Applied Scientist, Alexa

    Session: Neural Networks: The New Way to Drive Movie Recommendations for Amazon Instant Video

  • Jason Semine

    Jason Semine

    Sr. Product Manager, Alexa Domains

    Session: Alexa, What’s the Score?

  • Kaitlin Simpson

    Kaitlin Simpson

    Manager, Alexa Skills Marketing

    Session: Best Practices for Promoting Your Team & the Alexa Prize – Panel

  • Alex Smola

    Alex Smola

    Director, Machine Learning, AWS

    Session: Deep Learning on AWS

  • Amanda Wartick

    Amanda Wartick

    Marketing Manager, Alexa Prize

    Session: Best Practices for Promoting Your Team & the Alexa Prize – Panel

  • Paul Zimmerman

    Paul Zimmerman

    Principal BDM, VC Bus Dev, AWS

    Session: Life After the Alexa Prize – Panel

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