I am excited to share the teams selected to compete for the Alexa Prize Socialbot Grand Challenge 3, a multimillion-dollar university competition to advance conversational AI. These teams will create socialbots that can converse coherently and engagingly with humans on a range of current events and popular topics such as entertainment, sports, politics, technology, and fashion.
We received applications from leading universities from more than 15 countries. Each application was carefully reviewed by the Selection Committee at Amazon against criteria including scientific contribution, technical merit, novelty, and ability to execute.
Of the ten teams selected to compete, five are returning teams, including 2018 winner University of California, Davis, and five teams are new to the competition this year. Listed in alphabetical order they are:
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Czech Tecnical University in Prague
- Emory University
- Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology
- Stanford University
- University of California, Davis
- University of California, Irvine
- University of California, San Diego
- University of California, Santa Cruz
- University of Michigan
The challenge to create a socialbot that can engage coherently with humans for 20-minutes with a 4.0 rating or higher, is incredibly complex. Teams have to incorporate advanced areas of conversational AI within their socialbots, including knowledge acquisition, natural language understanding, natural language generation, context modeling, commonsense reasoning, and dialog planning. To support them, we provide students with the necessary tools to help them tackle these problems at scale. Then, through the “let’s chat” skill experience, Alexa users provide ratings and feedback to help teams test their ideas and make real time improvements to their models.
While this group of socialbots won’t debut until later this year, you can stay up to date on all things Alexa Prize by following the #AlexaPrize hashtag. In the meantime, you can continue chatting with the winning socialbots from last year’s challenge by simply saying, “Alexa, let’s chat.”
Please join me in congratulating these teams! We are excited by the novel approaches they have proposed and look forward to working with them throughout the Socialbot Grand Challenge 3.