Enter the Alexa Skills Challenge: Alexa Conversations to Compete for Over $100,000 in Prizes
Drew Meyer Jul 22, 2020
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We’re thrilled to announce the Alexa Skills Challenge: Alexa Conversations with Devpost, an opportunity to invent the future of voice experiences and compete for more than $100K in prizes. Participants will gain firsthand experience using Alexa’s artificial intelligence to create natural Alexa skill experiences with less training data and code. Start building with the Alexa Conversations beta today and submit your challenge entry by September 14. Global contestants are welcome (see contest rules for restrictions) but qualifying skills must be published in the en_US locale.

Invent the Future of Natural Voice Experiences

Customers have purchased over 100 million Alexa-enabled devices and more than 750,000 developers have started building voice experiences with Alexa. As serial entrepreneur Mark Cuban has said, “There is no future that doesn’t have ambient computing or voice activation. None.” Until now, building a skill that could handle language variations and unpredictable dialog paths meant managing tens of thousands of possible permutations manually, or building for just a few and compromising the customer experience.

Alexa Conversations (beta) lets you leverage Alexa’s artificial intelligence to create this training data and manage the dialog for you, simplifying your code and allowing customers to speak more naturally. Your customers can have comfortable back-and-forth conversations and you can focus on the APIs that make your experience shine. Developers who publish their skills in this contest will gain experience building with one the most advanced Alexa voice technologies to date, and be at the forefront of emerging AI-driven voice interactions that enable totally new experiences. Alexa Conversations (beta) is available in the en_US locale.

Available Prizes

Finalist and Grand Prizes – Ten finalists will be chosen to each take home a $5,000 cash prize. Of the finalists, one Grand Prize winner will be chosen and will receive an additional $20,000 cash prize.

Bonus Prizes – Participants may be are eligible to receive an additional $2000 bonus cash prize for the best skill in each of the following categories.  

  • Best Food and Drink Skill: Build a skill that helps customers with food-related tasks, such as a meal planning for a special diet, a ordering takeout, or a mixology skill.
  • Best Travel and Transportation Skill: Build a skill to help customers plan a trip including help with reservations and tickets. For example, plan a camping trip complete with campsite and a rental car reservations, or help find local public transportation options
  • Best Productivity Skill: Help customers find, set, and modify appointments, activities, or tasks. For example, a skill that can help plan weekend activities by browsing local events and venues and adding them to the customer’s calendar.
  • Best Education & Reference Skill: Build a skill to help customers use voice with learning applications. For example, use an API to navigate and visualize your own data or a public dataset like CDC data, NOAA weather data, or NASA space data.
  • Best Game Skill: Build a game skill (such as an escape room) that lets customers explore and solve puzzles through conversation.
  • Best Wildcard Skill: Help customers do something outside of these categories. There are so many public APIs to choose from!
  • Best Alexa Conversations Audio Skill: Build a skill with rich audio soundscapes using the APL for audio (beta) feature to manage and mix audio files. For example, hear a rainstorm in the background of a weather skill or add exciting sound effects to a game.
  • Best Alexa Conversations Visual Skill: Build a skill optimized for devices with screens using the Alexa Presentation Language feature. For example, integrate touch into a game, display touchable charts and graphs, or browse a film archive.

Certification Prizes: Eligible participants will receive a $50 Amazon gift card for publishing a brand new or updated skill that includes Alexa Conversations (beta). Participants from outside of the US will receive cash equivalent value. Limit 300 participation prizes, one per participant.

Select winners will also have the chance to be interviewed by Alexa Chief Evangelist Dave Isbitski on his Alexa Dev Chat podcast.

How to Enter

Visit alexaconversations.devpost.com to register for the challenge. Then build a skill including the Alexa Conversations dialog manager and submit it to Devpost by September 14, 2020. We’ll announce the finalists in late September and winners in late October 2020.

Resources to Get Started

Check out the following resources to learn about Alexa Conversations and enter the challenge.

We can’t wait to see what new voice experiences you build!

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