The Alexa Prize Summit

Teams competing in the 2018 Alexa Prize attended their Summit at Amazon Headquarters in Seattle, WA from May 14 – 17, 2018. Over four days, teams met with Amazonians, thought leaders, and other competing students and faculty to network and build community around conversational AI. Together with Alexa leadership, teams launched their socialbots GA for the first customer feedback phase.

Summit Photos

Scenes from the 2018 Alexa Prize Summit Scenes from the 2018 Alexa Prize Summit Scenes from the 2018 Alexa Prize Summit

This year, Summit featured keynotes from Dave Limp (SVP, Amazon Devices), Rohit Prasad (VP and Head Scientist, Alexa, Alexa AI) and Gerard Medioni (Director, Research, Physical Stores). Sessions covered a range of topics from Making Sense of Conversational Interactions in Data Starved Settings to Managing Science to Deliver Impact: Working Backwards from the Customer. A presentation on lessons learned from the 2017 Alexa Prize winners Sounding Board from The University of Washington, was a Summit highlight.

The teams spent time together at an Alexa Prize version of an Iron Chef Competition and, on their last evening, enjoyed a private tour and reception at the newly opened Spheres.

Event Agenda

Monday, May 14, 2018
8:00 - 12:00 PM Team Consultations
12:00 – 2:30 PM Team Lunch
2:30 – 5:30 PM Community STEM Event (Alexa Prize Science Fair)
5:30 – 8:30 PM Amazon Innovation Showcase & Alexa Prize Summit Welcome Reception
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
7:30 – 9:15 AM Pre-Summit Breakfast
9:30 – 11:00 AM Alexa Prize Summit Opening Keynote - Rohit Prasad and Gerard Medioni
11:15 – 12:15 PM Ask the Alexa Scientists Panel
12:30 – 1:45 PM Lunch: Insights & Lessons Learned – A Discussion with 2017 Alexa Prize Winners, UW Sounding Board
2:00 – 4:15 PM Breakout Session: Deep Learning on AWS - Alex Smola
Breakout Session: Robustness to ASR/NLU Errors in Dialog - Maryam Fazel-Zarandi
4:30 – 5:30 PM Breakout Session: Managing Science to Deliver Impact: Working Backwards from the Customer - Stephen Potter and Kerry Hammil
Breakout Session: Reducing Friction: From Actions to Conversations - Lambert Mathias
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
9:15 – 9:45 AM There is No Limit to the Potential of Voice - David Isbitski
10:00 – 11:00 AM Fireside Chat: Launch of the 2018 Alexa Prize Socialbots - Dave Limp
11:15 – 12:30 PM 2017 Lessons Learned – Discussion with the Alexa Prize Science & Engineering Team - Panel
12:30 – 2:00 PM Lunch: 2017 Alexa Prize Finals from the Perspective of a Judge and interactor - Mike George and Richard Yonck
2:00 – 3:00 PM Breakout Session: Neural Networks; The New Way to Drive Movie Recommendations for Amazon Instant Video - Oleg Rybakov
Breakout Session: Making Sense of Conversational Interactions in Data Starved Settings - Angeliki Metallinou
3:15 – 4:15 PM Breakout Session: Capturing and Using the Connections in your Data: Amazon Neptune Deep Dive - Brad Bebee
Breakout Session: Learning Meets Reinforcement Learning for Moviebot - Alborz Geramifard and Maryam Fazel-Zarandi
4:30 – 5:30 PM Breakout Session: Best Practices for Promoting Your Team & the Alexa Prize - Panel
Breakout Session: Life After the Alexa Prize - Panel
6:00 – 9:00 PM Private Tour of Amazon Spheres and Reception
Thursday, May 17, 2018
7:30 – 9:00 AM Pre-Summit Breakfast
9:00 – 9:30 AM Coming Attractions Panel
9:30 – 10:00 AM Real Life at Amazon Alexa Panel
10:15 – 12:30 PM Product Roundtable & Alexa Prize Wrap-up Day
12:30 – 2:00 PM Lunch: Alexa Prize Summit Closing Session - Eric King
2:30 – 6:00 PM Scheduled Private Meetings

Event Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Summit Speakers

Summit Panels

Alexa Services