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Amazon announced the Alexa Prize, an annual university competition dedicated to accelerating the field of conversational artificial intelligence (AI). The goal of the inaugural competition is to build a “socialbot” on Alexa that will converse with people about popular topics and news events. The team with the highest-performing socialbot will win a $500,000 prize. Additionally, a prize of $1 million will be awarded to the winning team’s university if their socialbot achieves the grand challenge of conversing coherently and engagingly with humans for 20 minutes.
mazon today announced the all-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, the most powerful streaming media stick available. Up to 30 percent faster than the original best-selling version, the next generation Fire TV Stick is more powerful, offers access to over 300,000 movies and TV episodes, and includes the Alexa Voice Remote – for only $39.99. The only streaming media stick with a voice remote, the new Fire TV Stick is available for pre-order starting today from www.amazon.com/fire-tv-stick and will begin shipping to U.S. customers on October 20.
One year ago, Amazon opened Alexa to developers, making it simple and free for them to build Alexa skills and integrate Alexa into their own products. Today, tens of thousands of developers are building skills for Alexa, and there are over 1,400 new skills for Alexa—including Lyft and Honeywell, which were added today.
Amazon announced new Alexa voice features are coming to Fire TV, including the ability to control playback of Amazon Video and Add-On Subscription content, launch apps, access local movie show times, search local businesses and restaurants, and more—all just by using your voice. Discovering and accessing content on Fire TV has never been easier with the new Alexa playback features, plus integrated voice search across 59 content partners including Hulu, Showtime, Starz, HBO Go and more. These new Alexa features will be automatically delivered via free, over-the-air software updates in the coming weeks.