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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Alexa Socialbot Reports on Grand Challenge

Following this effort.   Have experimented with the bots to date.   We still need more substantial results to make these approaches more powerful.  True, meaningful, contextual conversation is the goal.   Not just fooling someone that they talking to a knowledgeable human, but really helping.  Like to see more results from the challenge emerge on the platform.

AI Tools Let Alexa Prize Participants Focus on Science  By Anu Venkatesh

March 4 marks the kickoff of the third Alexa Prize Socialbot Grand Challenge, in which university teams build socialbots capable of conversing on a wide range of topics and make them available to millions of Alexa customers through the invitation “Alexa, let’s chat”. Student teams can begin applying to the competition on March 4, and in the subsequent six weeks, the Alexa Prize team will make a series of roadshow appearances at tech hubs in the U.S. and Europe to meet with students and answer questions about the program.

As we gear up for the third Alexa Prize Socialbot Grand Challenge, the Alexa science blog is reviewing some of the technical accomplishments from the second, which were reported in a paper released in late 2018. This post examines contributions by Amazon’s Alexa Prize team; a second post will examine innovations from the participating university teams.

To ensure that Alexa Prize contestants can concentrate on dialogue systems — the core technology of socialbots — Amazon scientists and engineers built a set of machine learning modules that handle fundamental conversational tasks and a development environment that lets contestants easily mix and match existing modules with those of their own design. ... " 

Alexa Science Blog 
Paper on Socialbot work to date.  

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