University of Trento is selected by AMAZON for the Alexa Challenge

University of Trento is selected by AMAZON for the Alexa Challenge

A group of students from Signals and Interactive Systems Lab at University of Trento ( Italy ), was chosen as one of the 12 sponsored university teams all over the world to participate to the Alexa prize, a one-year long competition sponsored by Amazon to advance conversational Artificial Intelligence.

The aim of the competition is to create a social computer (“bot”) able to have coherent and engaging conversations with humans about popular topics such as politics or sport.




The bots created by the different teams will be rated by Amazon customers and the team whose bot achieves the highest scores will be awarded a $500,000 prize by Amazon. Furthermore, if the winning team’s socialbot will be able to converse with users  coherently for 20 minutes, Amazon will grant an additional prize of $1 million to the team’s university.

Over a hundred teams from prestigious universities of 22 countries applied to participate to the competition and 12 were selected to be sponsored by Amazon:

Carnegie-Mellon University “CMU Magnus” – US
Carnegie-Mellon University “TBD” – US
Czech Technical University di Prague “eClub Prague” – Czech Republic
Heriot-Watt University “WattSocialBot” – UK
Princeton University “Princeton Alexa” – US
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute “BAKAbot” – US
University of California, Berkeley “Machine Learning @ Berkeley” – US
University of California, Santa Cruz “SlugBots” – US
University of Edinburgh “Edina” – UK
University of Montreal “MILA Team” – Canada
University of Trento “Roving Mind” – Italy
University of Washington “HuskyBot” – US

All the sponsored teams will receive a $100,000 research grant, 4 Alexa-enabled devices, free AWS services and support from the Alexa team.

The Sislab team, named “Roving Mind”, is composed by Alessandra Cervone, Giuliano Tortoreto, Enrico Gambi and Stefano Mezza  and advised by Prof. Giuseppe Riccardi.

The team is already working towards the Semifinals period which will start in July 2017.


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