Archive for January, 2018

An Inside Look at the 2017 Alexa Prize Finals

The Alexa Prize is an annual university competition to advance the state of Conversational AI. Last November, Rohit Prasad, vice president and head scientist, Alexa Machine Learning, and I had the pleasure of announcing the winner of the inaugural competition.

Judging a conversational AI competition is super hard because conversation is inherently subjective; there isn’t a clear right or wrong response at each turn in a dialog, nor a precise definition of what makes a conversation “coherent” or “engaging”. This short film explains how the finals were conducted, and showcases the winning teams from University of Washington, Czech Technical University, and Heriot-Watt University.

See what the best conversational socialbots can do today, and what more needs to be done to solve this very hard problem.


VIEW THE FILM:

youtu.be/WTGuOg7GXYU


SPEAK WITH THE SOCIALBOTS:
Just say “Alexa, let’s chat” to your Alexa-enabled device.

Podcast: How Amazon’s Alexa Learns

Much of the ballyhoo around intelligent home assistance devices is that they make life easier for us: from regulating our thermostats to freeing our hands while we check a favorite recipe for roast turkey, to playing that favorite jam to get us pumped up in the morning. And it turns out that because these devices are designed to learn from our patterns and habits, they become more helpful the longer we live with them.

In this podcast, Ashwin Ram, one of the minds behind Amazon Alexa, describes how the company is balancing privacy concerns with natural language recognition to design a more effective device.

KelloggInsight podcast with Jennifer Cutler, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management

 

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST / READ THE TRANSCRIPT:

insight.kellogg.northwestern.edu/article/podcast-how-amazons-alexa-learns