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Monday, May 29, 2017

Lets Chat

I tried Amazon Alexa's pre school contest for robotics.  You enter it by saying 'Alexa, Lets Chat' to your Echo device and off you go.   I tried a few iterations, and they were mostly very crude. Initiative in particular was not clear.  No way to switch them to context.    Complete info here.  A number of university teams are involved.  Prizes this fall.

Amazon’s $2.5M ‘Alexa Prize’ seeks chatbot that can converse intelligently for 20 minutes
By    Nat Levy

Amazon will award up to $2.5 million in prizes and sponsorships in a new annual competition called the “Alexa Prize”— challenging university students to build a “socialbot” on the company’s digital brain Alexa that can have an intelligent conversation about pop culture and news events.

Amazon said teams can submit applications now, and the winners will be announced at AWS re:Invent in November 2017. The winning team will receive a $500,000 prize, and Amazon will give another $1 million to the winning team’s university if its bot can converse coherently for 20 minutes.

“Conversing for 20 minutes is difficult for most humans and an extraordinarily ambitious challenge for bots that are learning to converse like us,” Dan Jurafsky, professor and chair of linguistics and professor of computer science at Stanford University. “The Alexa Prize will encourage student researchers to come up with great ideas for leveraging real-world conversational AI technologies like Alexa to create software that can converse as engagingly as humans.”  ... ' 

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